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33 foreign crash victims remain unidentified



PHUKET AIRPORT: Forty-eight hours after the ill-fated One-Two-Go flight OG269 crashed at Phuket International Airport (PIA), killing 89 of the 130 people on board, the cause of the disaster is still unknown and 33 corpses of foreigners remain unidentified.

Phuket Airport Director Sq Ldr Pornchai Eua-aree told the Gazette that there is no problem with the runway and that the accident was not caused by the runway itself, although it will be some time before the reasons for the disaster are known.

About 120 flights had to re-routed to Krabi Airport, with Phuket-bound passengers having to travel the remaining distance by bus or van. Phuket Airport reopened for service at 4 pm yesterday.

“We haven’t had to cancel any flights yet, and we are ready to welcome Asian tourists who are coming here for the Vegetarian Festival,” added K. Pornchai.

In a broadcast on The Nation TV channel last night, Lt Gen Amporn Juruchinda, commander of Police Forensic Science in Bangkok, said the total number of bodies recovered from the wreckage was 89, of which 35 were Thais and 54 foreigners.

It was announced today that Phuket Provincial Internal Trade Office Chief Somphot Sangkhapong was among the dead.

The bodies of the Thai victims have all been identified by relatives, while the body of Indonesian pilot Areef Mulyadi is the only foreign corpse so far to have been transported home by relatives.

Relatives of Thai victims wishing to transport bodies home should take a copy of the victim’s ID card and death certificate (already issued to families here in Phuket) to claim the body.

Thais needing assistance to transport bodies back to their hometowns should call K. Suthep at 081-8929374 or K. Rewadee at 081-5381992 to make arrangements.

As of 11 am today, the 33 remaining foreign bodies are still unidentified. Relatives are asked to directly contact officers at Phuket Airport Hall by calling +66(0)76-351540, or to send dental, DNA or finger-print records by fax to +66(0)76-351540.

Relatives of foreign victims should provide as many items of identification as possible.

At Phuket Airport Hall today, a group of Israeli forensics experts was working to identify the bodies of six Israeli tourists who died in the crash. All six victims were expected to be identified and flown back to Israel later today.

HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej and HM Queen Sirikit today donated 900,000 baht to hospitals in Phuket, with 500,000 baht pledged for Bangkok Phuket Hospital, 200,000 baht for Phuket International Hospital and 100,000 baht each for Vachira Phuket Hospital and Thalang Hospital.

The money was delivered on behalf of HM The King and Queen Sirikit by Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit this afternoon.

The Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) and the Phuket Hotel Association (PHA) have provided 70 hotel rooms at 20 hotels free for relatives of the victims.

Udom Thantprasongchai, managing director of Orient Thai, which operates One-Two-Go, pledged 100,000 baht in compensation for each Thai victim.

Those in need of accommodation, or foreigners needing to discuss compensation, can call One-Two-Go at 1126, +66(0)76-351144, or +66(0)76-351166.

Click here to see our PGTV report.


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