Date & Time: Mar 3, 2001 at 1448 LT
Type of aircraft:
Scheduled Revenue Flight
Bangkok – Chiang Mai
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
While parked at gate 62 at Bangkok-Don Mueang Airport, the aircraft suffered an explosion and caught fire. On board were eight crew members awaiting 148 passengers to embark, among them Thaksin Shinawatra, Thai Prime Minister. Seven crew members were able to evacuate the cabin while the eighth crew member died. The aircraft was completely destroyed by fire. It was reported that the first explosion occurred in the center fuel tank, about 27 minutes prior to the expected takeoff time, followed by a second explosion in the right wing tank 18 minutes later.
An explosion of the center wing tank resulting from ignition of the flammable fuel/air mixture in the tank. The source of the ignition energy for the explosion could not be determined with certainty, but the most likely source was an explosion originating at the center wing tank pump as a result of running the pump in the presence of metal shavings and a fuel/air mixture.