‘Engine fail­ure’ caused fa­tal plane crash


Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Prawit Wong­su­won yes­ter­day at­trib­uted the fa­tal army plane crash in the border prov­ince of Mae Hong Son on Thurs­day to engine fail­ure.

The crash claimed the lives of three lieu­tenants — Varoj Plaengkrathok, Narue­pol Pook­thong and Khem­maraj Duangkaew — and in­jured Sgt Maj 1st Class Chachanan Khuenkaew, who is be­ing treated at Srisang­wan Hospi­tal in Muang district.

The plane was on pa­trol close to the Myan­mar border.

Gen Prawit said the plane suf­fered an engine mal­func­tion, adding that the pi­lots un­suc­cess­fully tried to make an emer­gency land­ing.

The Royal Thai Army is giv­ing moral sup­port to the dead of­fi­cers’ col­leagues and fam­i­lies, said Gen Prawit, who is also de­fence min­is­ter.

Col Sirichan Ngath­ong, deputy army spokes­woman, said the three lieu­tenants will be posthu­mously pro­moted to ma­jor-gen­eral, sub­ject to royal ap­proval.

Their fam­i­lies will re­ceive ad­di­tional fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance of 1.6 mil­lion to 1.9 mil­lion baht from the army as well as their stip­u­lated ben­e­fits, she added.

Lt Varoj was the pi­lot and Lt Narue­pol his co-pi­lot on the Cessna-182 air­craft that crashed in rugged hill coun­try 30 kilo­me­tres north of Mae Hong Son air­port.

Lt Khem­maraj was an ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the Ri­fle Com­pany in the 4th In­fantry Bat­tal­ion. Sgt Maj 1st class Chachanan is at­tached to 1743 Ri­fle Com­pany.

The fu­ner­als for Lt Varoj and Lt Narue­pol were con­ducted in Lop Buri yes­ter­day while that of Lt Khem­maraj was held in Chi­ang Rai’s Muang district.

The plane left Mae Hong Son air­port at 11.05am on Thurs­day to sup­port a pa­trol in the area.

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