Plane Crash Survivors Shifted to Rangoon General Hospital

By Zarni Mann 26 December 2012

RANGOON — Nine people injured in an Air Bagan plane crash that claimed two lives in Shan State on Tuesday have been transferred to Rangoon General Hospital to receive further treatment, while two US citizens who survived the crash have been sent to Bangkok, according to sources.

The injured survivors were moved to Rangoon’s largest public hospital from the privately owned Witoriya General Hospital in Rangoon last night, the sources said. The reason for the transfer was not immediately apparent.

“It is said that they were shifted to Rangoon General Hospital because the case is somehow an official matter related to the government, even though the airline has said that it will pay for treatment at the Witoriya hospital,” said a relative of one of the patients.

The injured included two pilots, a French citizen, a Chinese national from Taiwan, local tour guides and the passenger of a motorcycle that was hit when the aging Fokker-100 aircraft carrying 63 passengers landed on a local road near the Heho airport.

U Pyar, the driver of the motorcycle, was killed in the accident, as was German-speaking tour guide Nwe Lin Shein.

Toe Toe Khin, another German-speaking guide, was among those being treated at Rangoon General Hospital. A close friend said that she suffered a fractured cervical vertebra and severe burns to the lower part of her right leg and is being treated at the hospital’s burn unit, along with the 18-year-old motorcycle passenger.

“She said she was lucky that two other passengers were able to quickly pull her out of the fire,” said the friend.

The other injured guides were English-speaking guide Khin Aye Hlaing, French-speaking guide Myint Htwe and Spanish-speaking guide Soe Moe Thu. According to friends and relatives, they are being treated for minor injuries and are not suffering from trauma. Staff from Air Bagan were also seen at the hospital providing assistance to the patients.

Meanwhile, the Burmese government’s Transport Ministry has formed an investigation commission to probe the plane crash. The Department of Civil Aviation’s Deputy Director-General Win Swe Tun will lead the investigation into what caused the crash, The New Light of Myanmar reported.

According to the state-run newspaper, “The plane hit [the] Kalaw-Aungthabye 66 KVA power grid that links from east to west about one mile from Heho airport runway and trees on Taunggyi-Meiktila roadside and then hit the ground as mist covered the runway.”