Two dead in Burma commercial plane crash

Two dead in Burma commercial plane crash

Two dead in Burma commercial plane crash

Updated 25 December 2012, 23:45 AEDT

Two people have died after a domestic flight carrying 65 passengers was forced to make an emergency landing in Burma.

Two people have died and eleven have been injured after a commercial flight carrying 65 passengers was forced to make an emergency landing near an airport in Burma's eastern Shan state on Tuesday.

Air Bagan said the aircraft, an ageing Fokker-100, was forced to make an emergency landing three kilometres from Heho airport, which is the gateway to the popular tourist destination of Inle Lake.

"One passenger who was missing was found dead inside the plane. We are still trying to identify who the dead passenger is," the carrier announced in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

The victim was an 11-year-old child, according to the information ministry, which added that four foreigners were among those hurt in the accident.

Another person was killed when the plane struck a motorbike on a road near the airport, it said.

The carrier said the aircraft landed three kilometres from Heho airport.

A government official said a fire was reported in one of the engines as it approached the airport at around 9 am (0230 GMT).

"Because of the emergency landing near the airport, the plane broke up in the middle," the official said, adding that the passengers were evacuated.

A local tour guide at the scene said that the fire had "burnt almost the whole plane".

Air Bagan spokesman, Ye Min Oo, said the two pilots among the injured were taken to hospital, although their condition was not immediately known.

"The cause of the accident is not clear yet. Only the pilots will know the cause, but we can't contact them yet as they have been sent to hospital," he said.

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 Tay Za, a tycoon known for his close links to the former junta.

Yangon International Airport, the country's main terminal, is set to exceed its limit of 2.7 million passengers this year and the Department of Civil Aviation warned in July it needs urgent upgrading.

AFP