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MediaWATCH: Stress, Fatigue in Phuket Disaster

MediaWATCH: Stress, Fatigue in Phuket Disaster

Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Phuketwan MediaWATCH

A new daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective. Reports from national and international media, with translations into English from Thai.

While the world wonders about the fate of an Air France flight lost over the Atlantic, Thai authorities are beginning to release information about an air crash on Phuket that took place 20 months ago.

Associated Press Pilot error and fatigue were the primary causes of a 2007 plane crash on Phuket that killed 90 people, Thai aviation authorities announced. The report by the Civil Aviation Department, released on its website, listed six factors that included failure to follow standard operating procedure for a go-around after an aborted landing; failure to properly operate cockpit equipment; lack of co-ordination between pilot and co-pilot; pilot fatigue; sudden change in weather conditions; and inadequate reactions by pilot and co-pilot. One-Two-GO was urged to intensify flight and emergency training for its pilots, adjust schedules so pilots and stewardess get adequate rest, upgrade safety management and encourage personnel to report irregularities.

greenvilleonline.com US Congress is to begin moving to examine the safety of regional airlines that provide the overwhelming majority of flights out of airports the size of Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport. The hearings, launched by a Senate subcommittee, will investigate the safety issues brought to light by the public release of transcripts of cockpit conversations between the pilots of Continental Connection Flight 3407 that crashed near Buffalo earlier this year, killing 50 people. Those issues stirred debate over whether the pilots and planes at the small regional carriers are up to the standards that the larger airlines have to meet.

Bangkok Post Consumer prices contracted 3.3 percent year-on-year in May, the fifth consecutive month of decline, because of a fall in fuel and public transportation prices. May inflation, which set a 10-year low, was likely to be the bottom of the fall thanks to a gradual increase in oil prices and higher excise tax, said a Commerce Ministry spokesperson. Consumer prices may pick up further from August in line with rising oil prices and the end of some of the government's stimulus measures, she said.

Today's Must Read

afp news agency A teenage US-Indonesian model has returned to her family in Indonesia with tales of abuse, rape and torture at the hands of a Malaysian prince, after her dramatic escape with the help of Singapore police. Manohara Odelia Pinot, 17, told reporters she was treated like a sex slave after her marriage to Tengku Temenggong Mohammad Fakhry, the prince of Malaysia's Kelantan state, last year. Her mother, Daisy Fajarina, said she would press charges against the 31-year-old prince, and blamed the Malaysian and Indonesian governments for trying to cover up the alleged abuse.

heraldsun.com.au With Bulgaria reporting its first case, a death in Los Angeles, US missionaries and Scottish football fans catching the virus, swine flu has gone global. In its latest report, the World Health Organisation says 62 countries had officially reported 17,410 cases of H1N1, including 115 deaths. Mexico could lift its swine flu alert by mid-June, the health minister there said, with the virus on the wane. Australia leads the Asia-Pacific region with 400 cases.

idahostatesman.com (ap) In Rangoon t spray-painted demands appear overnight: ''Free Aung San Suu Kyi,'' only to be whitewashed by security forces as soon as they are discovered. Since the trial of Burma's pro-democracy leader began two weeks ago, signs of defiance hint at the undercurrent of anger over the treatment of a woman considered to be a living icon by many compatriots. But supporters feel helpless to do more as the trial winds to an end, with closing arguments scheduled for Friday. There is little sign that private anguish will explode into the mass protests.

Travel.asiaone.com Drawing the wrath of environmentalists is a Malaysian orangutan sanctuary where baby apes wear nappies, sleep in cots and are cared for by nurses dressed in masks and starched uniforms. At Orangutan Island in Malaysia's north, tourists snap photos as they file past large windows looking onto a facility billed as the world's only rehabilitation and preservation facility for the endangered primates. ''It is ridiculous to have orangutans in nappies and hand-raised in a nursery,'' says senior wildlife veterinarian Roy Sirimanne. ''Keeping the orangutans in captivity on an island is not a conservation program. It amounts to desecration (of the species) as it is nearly impossible to reintroduce them back to the forest.''

phnompenhpost.com Revenues from Angkor Wat admission fees in Cambodia have shrunk by 20 percent in the first quarter, the Apsara Authority, which runs the temple complex, announced, blaming knock-on effects of the Thai political turmoil. ''Most foreign tourists enter Cambodia through Thailand. So, if Thailand has a problem, we are inevitably affected by their problem,'' said Bun Narith, director general of the Apsara Authority. ''In 2007, more than US$32 million was earned from selling tickets to Angkor Wat, and the amount decreased about five percent in 2008,'' he said.

blog.foreignpolicy.com With the world's navies asking how to stop piracy in the Gulf of Aden in recent months, it's about time someone took notice of the most recent pirate-fighting success story: the Malacca Straight. The success story goes like this: in the early part of this decade, the Malacca Straight was like today's Gulf of Aden. Pirate attacks were pushing up insurance rates, re-routing ships, and annoying the world's shipping and naval fleets. So great was the threat that Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia decided, in 2004, to invest signifant naval power to curtail the pirates. It seems to have worked; pirate attacks are down this year for the fourth year running, to just 28 along Malaysia's coast (compared to 121 just a few years ago). The good news is that the Pacific Rim is a lot safer.

Associated Press Malaysia has found no evidence to support claims that thousands of deported Burmese migrants were handed over to human traffickers in Thailand, an official says. The US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations said in a report in April that illegal Burmese migrants deported from Malaysia were forced to work in brothels, fishing boats and restaurants across the border in Thailand if they had no money to buy their freedom. The report came after a year-long review by committee staff but Malaysian Home Ministry Secretary General Mahmood Adam says it's baseless.

Phuketwan Phuket News

Latest: Phuket Airport Flight Crash Report Released
Latest The long awaited report on the investigation into the One Two Go crash in 2007 at Phuket airport has been released, criticising the pilots and making recommendations.
Latest: Phuket Airport Flight Crash Report Released

Patong Killing: Singapore Woman Set for Court
Latest A Singaporean woman charged with murder is expected to appear in a Phuket court, one of several unusual shootings on the island in 2009. Phuketwan updates the dossiers.
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Head of Phuket's Hongsyok Dynasty Mourned
Latest With his lifetime extending back to the early days of the motorcar, Weerapong Hongsyok will be mourned by many for the part he played in developing Phuket down the generations.
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Phi Phi Deaths Riddle 'Linked to Lung Congestion'
Latest With investigations continuing, a US pathologist attributes the mysterious deaths of one of two young women tourists on Phi Phi to a cause related to her lung congestion.
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Secret 'Quayside' Surprises Phuket Officials
Photo Album A resort developer allegedly destroyed a stretch of Phuket coastline to build a quayside promenade, according to officials. They are surprised the plan stayed secret for so long.
Secret 'Quayside' Surprises Phuket Officials

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