70 Of 72 Escape Christmas Burma Crash

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A Fokker 100 jet carrying 71 people for Air Bagan crashed in Burma on Christmas Day, breaking up the aircraft, which was then destroyed by fire, but the loss of life has so far been held at two, including one on the ground. The aircraft's data recorder has been recovered and details of the accident are still being collected. Early reports, which are likely to change, include one from the airline stating that the aircraft was flying in heavy fog when it hit electrical wires nearly a mile from its destination at Heho airport as it descended into rice fields. Burma's information ministry has reportedly said that the pilot mistook a road near for the airport's nearby runway. Quotes from passengers suggest the initial impact was not severe.

One passenger told the Guardian.co.uk, "We felt the first bump, then a few big bumps and then sliding very fast." Another said the landing was like a roller coaster ride. The two fatalities were a tour guide on the jet and a man who was riding a motorcycle and was presumably struck by the aircraft or debris. Passengers suffered a range of effects including shock, smoke inhalation and burns. The pilots were observed to have suffered injuries to their faces. One flight attendant said that the crew had the aircraft evacuated within 90 seconds after it came to a stop.