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Inside Phuket International Airport: crash report details awaited

Phuket Air Crash Report: Yet Another Delay

Thursday, February 19, 2009
A DEPARTMENT of Civil Aviation official has denied that fire trucks at Phuket Airport were slow to reach a crashed aircraft and had not replenished foam and water after a practice three days earlier.

The allegations have been made on a website aimed at discrediting the crash airline's management and in an email comment yesterday to Phuketwan.

The Deputy Director (Security) of the DCA, Wootichai Singhamanee, rejected any suggestion that emergency vehicles at Phuket airport were slow in reaching Flight 269 after it crashed on landing on September 16, 2007.

His comments come as interested parties continue a long wait for the comprehensive official report on the One-Two-Go air crash that killed 90 passengers and crew and injured 40 survivors.

In January, Khun Wootichai told Phuketwan that the report would ''definitely'' be released in mid-February.

However, yesterday he said more time was needed because of unavoidable delays.

The DCA and investigators met yesterday and opted to further improve some wording before sending the report on to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Khun Wootichai said.

On Tuesday, Khun Wootichai told Phuketwan that the report was to be released on Wednesday.

But yesterday, after further talks, he said the final meetings about the crash and the complete report would now take place in mid-March.

The release would come from the Ministry of Transportation and Communication, he said.

A correspondent in an email to Phuketwan yesterday claimed that the Phuket Airport Fire Station's water and foam had not been restocked after a rescue simulation three days before the crash of Flight 269.

''Rescue staff took 20-45 minutes to arrive,'' the email said.

But Khun Wootichai told Phuketwan that while it was true there was a practice three days before the crash, rescue teams had replenished water and foam and took ''less than five minutes'' to reach the scene.

Some survivors and the families of some victims are engaged in legal action against One-Two-Go.

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