Deadly Passenger Jet Crash in Burma

Posted December 25th, 2012 at 8:25 am (UTC-5)
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Two people are dead after a Burmese passenger jet crash landed Tuesday morning in eastern Shan state.

The Air Bagan plane, carrying 65 passengers and six crew members on a flight from Rangoon, landed on a road about three kilometers from Heho airport. Shan state is home to Inle Lake, a popular tourist destination.

The dead includes an 11-year-old passenger and a man riding a motorcycle on the road. Officials say 11 people were injured, including the pilot and four foreign passengers. Air Bagan identified the foreigners as two Americans, one British national and one Korean.

The exact cause of the crash is not known, but government officials are quoted as saying bad weather may have prompted the pilot to land the plane on the road. Witnesses say the rear of the plane broke apart and caught fire upon impact.

Air Bagan is one of five private airlines operating domestic routes in Burma. It is owned by business tycoon Tay Za, who is reported to have had close links to Burma's former military government.