UK & World News
Four Brits Injured In Burma Plane Crash
Two people have been killed and at least 11 injured, including four British nationals, after an Air Bagan flight made an emergency landing on a road in Burma.
The plane was carrying Christmas tourists, including 51 foreigners and six crew members, from Rangoon, via Mandalay to Heho airport in Shan state.
Initial reports said there were three fatalities: a tour guide and an 11-year-old child on board the plane and a man riding a motorcycle on the road where the plane came down. However, later reports said two Burmese citizens were killed.
Airport officials in Heho said that injured passengers were taken to a hospital in the nearby city of Taunggyi for treatment.
Air Bagan said the emergency landing was made on a road about two miles from Heho airport.
"While descending, the plane mistakenly landed ... due to fog beside the runway," state television reported. It said the aircraft made a hard landing on a road and then came to a stop in a nearby rice paddy field.
"The rear end of the plane broke and caught fire," state TV said, carrying a statement posted on Deputy Information Minister Ye Htut's Facebook page. Rescuers brought the fire under control about 45 minutes later, he said.
Witnesses said smoke filled the plane when it hit the ground and was still rising from the plane's badly charred wreckage hours later.
Air Bagan is one of several domestic carriers seeking to profit from a tourist boom in Burma as it emerges from decades of military rule.
It is owned by tycoon Tay Za, who is known for his close links to the former junta and has been blacklisted by the US Treasury which once described him as "a notorious regime henchman and arms dealer".