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From The Nation, published 16 September 2007:

Higher death toll very likely after budget airplane carrying 128 crashlanded

Forty-five dead bodies, most of them foreigners, have been retrieved from wreckage of a One-Two-Go plane at the Phuket airport. The budget airliner exploded and broke in two after it crashlanded and skidded off the runway and crashed into nearby walls on Sunday afternoon. Dozens more are feared dead.

Some reports put the death toll at about 60, but this has yet to be confirmed. The nationalities of those onboard are not immediately known, but Phuket is a highly popular destination for overseas tourists.

A surviving passenger said the plane "landed hard" and "bounced" and then skidded off the runway. Civil aviation official Chiasak Angkauwan said, "the airplane requested to land but due to the weather in Phuket -- strong wind and heavy rain -- maybe the pilot did not see the runway clearly."

"The plane then fell onto the runway and broke into two. It is expected that there will be a lot of casualties."

"We are rescuing people from the aircraft ... we know now there were 123 passengers and five crew," he told the news channel.

"We won't know what really happened until we get information from the black box."

The airliner services Bangkok-Phuket flights six times a week. The ill-fated airline left Don Muang airport at about 2.30pm.

Information now coming in said the plane, which was being used by local budget travel company, One-to-Go Airline, had 123 passengers and five crew.

The aircraft, flight number OG 269, landed at Phuket airport at about 3.40pm from Bangkok and was taxiing along the runway when it went into a slide. Phuket had earlier been hit by heavy rains.

It crashed into trees and walls surrounding the airport.

Eye-witnesses said the impact of the crash caused the plane to break in two and they heard a series of explosions.

Rescue teams and navy personnel were involved in the rescue operation. All flights in and out of the Phuket airport have been cancelled.



TOT Block of Wordpress
Last night when trying to access my main blog at Baan Jochim Phuket, I was greeted by the page above. This translates as:

Sorry. TOT Plc., as an organization of Thai people, has restrained the access to this website as it contains content, text, and/or picture that is unappropriated which affects the mind of Thai people all over the country and cannot be accepted.

Thailand-WordpressApparently my internet service provider, the government-owned TOT, is blocking all blogs on the Wordpress domain in the latest example of Thai censorship of the media. According to articles on FACT- Freedom Against Censorship Thailand and Global Voices Advocacy, this block has been in effect since 22 August. As with all things that TOT has a hand in (i.e., frequent downtime once they finally connect your service -- it took a couple of months from the time we placed the order to the time they installed the line and connected our ADSL despite us living less than half-a-kilometer from the service center), this blockage seems very haphazard. Until last night, I'd had no problems accessing various Wordpress blogs and they're all coming up fine this morning.

Still, the blatant censorship practiced by the Thai government gets extremely tiring. Readers may remember that I began this particular blog as a result of the Thai Ministry of Information and Communication Technology's ban of the Blogger domain and my inability to access my longtime blog, Goodnight Phuket. We finally just got the ban against YouTube lifted but we always have to wonder what will be next...

Additional articles about the TOT blockage of Wordpress:
DBTB Protests Against the Blockage in Thailand
Wordpress Blocked in Thailand as Well Blocked in Thailand