Belfast Telegraph

Survivors relive plane crash horror

Survivors of a plane crash, including a man from Northern Ireland, in which eight people died have described the horrifying moment the aircraft skidded on to the runway and burst into flames.

Ninety people are known to have died as a result of the incident in Thailand on September 16 2007. Eight of those killed were British citizens.

The crash happened shortly after 3.40pm as the plane, a One-Two-Go Thai aircraft from Bangkok, came in to land in bad weather at Phuket International Airport.

Stephen Saunby and his partner Susan Howell, as well as boyfriend and girlfriend Alexander Collins and Bethan Jones, died in the crash. Married couples Helen and Neil Slater and Anthony and Judith Weston were also killed.

At an inquest into their deaths at Lincoln Coroner's Court, Ashley Harrow, From Moira - who was on board the plane when it crashed but escaped with his life - described the moment of impact.

Speaking to a courtroom packed with family members, he said: "I woke up to a sort of heavy impact and then just a sort of vibration.

"It felt like, at that point, I knew something was wrong."

Mr Harrow, from Moira, Northern Ireland, told coroner Stuart Fisher he was travelling on his own when he decided, on an impulse, to buy the air tickets to Phuket for a few days.

He was allocated a seat next to the emergency exit for the hour-long flight. Cabin crew went through usual safety demonstrations before the aircraft took off, he said, but it was raining very heavily.

He fell asleep "almost immediately" and was not aware of any turbulence or problems until the moment of impact. The plane came in to land and thudded heavily on to the runway twice, Mr Harrow said, before bursting into flames.

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