Air Bagan survivors tell of terrifying landing
YANGON (AP) - Survivors of a Christmas Day crash-landing of an airliner in Myanmar told terrifying tales of escape on Wednesday as carrier Air Bagan apologised for what it called the worst accident since it started flying in 2004.
Details of the crash remain unclear but airline officials told a news conference on Wednesday that they found the plane's two black boxes and were investigating what went wrong. So far, officials have blamed heavy fog for the aircraft's crash into a rice paddy field where it burst into flames. Two died and 11 were injured, including four foreigners.
The Fokker 100 jet was 21 years old but passed inspections at annual renewals of its air worthiness certificate, the officials said. On Tuesday, it was carrying 71 people, including 48 foreigners, from the city of Yangon via Mandalay to Heho airport, which is the gateway to the popular tourist destination Inle Lake.
"We felt the first bump, then a few big bumps and then (started) sliding very fast," said 31-year-old Australian advertising executive Anna Bartsch. Her boyfriend, Stuart Benson, described the landing like "a roller coaster" ride.