Plane Hits Control Tower at Thai Airport — A plane skidded off the runway and crashed into an air traffic control tower after landing on the Thai resort island of Samui on Tuesday, killing the pilot, an official said.

About 10 people were hospitalized with minor injuries after the Bangkok Airways flight landed in stormy weather and hit the airport's old tower, said Kanikka Kemawutanond, director-general of the Department of Civil Aviation.
A Bangkok Airways plane is seen after it skidded off the runway while attempting to land during heavy rains on Samui island, Surat Thani province in southern Thailand on Tuesday. (Photo: AP)

The nationalities of those on board were not immediately known.

Samui, located 298 miles (480 kilometers) south of Bangkok, is an island in the Gulf of Thailand popular with foreign tourists.

Kanikka said the ATR72 twin-turboprop had 68 passengers, two pilots and two crew members on board and was flying from Krabi, another popular resort area in southern Thailand.

"The weather was very bad during landing with heavy rain and wind," she said.

The plane hit a building that had once been used as an air traffic control tower but is now part of a fire fighting station, police Maj. Col. Sayan Sartsri said.

"The heavy damage was at the front of the plane where the pilot was. It looks like he suffered from the impact," he said. "We still have a few people stuck in the middle of the plane, waiting to be evacuated."

Kanikka said the Samui airport runway was closed after the accident and at least one Thai Airways flight was canceled.

In 1990, a Bangkok Airways turboprop crashed into a coconut grove short of the airport during heavy rain, killing all 37 people on board.