Gurgaon’s Medanta Hospital had hired a charter plane that flew from New Delhi at 8.42am on Sunday to pick up a patient from Bangkok. The hospital offers air ambulances as part of its emergency services.(Medanta.org) An air ambulance on the Delhi-Bangkok-Delhi route crash-landed en route to Bangkok, killing the pilot.
The plane was carrying five crew members and it caught fire and crash-landed near Bangkok, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Monday. Swaraj said ambulance pilot Arunaksha Nandy died in the incident, while two doctors were seriously injured and were admitted to an intensive care unit in a Bangkok hospital.
The injured were shifted to the hospital by army helicopters. Among those on board were three doctors from Gurgaon’s Medanta Hospital and two pilots.
“The injured were shifted to Bankok Hospital by Army Helicopters. Our mission has just informed me that we have lost pilot of the Air Ambulance Arunaksha Nandy,” tweeted Swaraj.
The doctors are from the department of emergency and anaesthesia. As the plane caught fire after the impact on Sunday, the two doctors sustained burn injuries. “Yes, they have had burn injuries in the accident, but fortunately the injuries are not life-threatening,” said a hospital source, requesting anonymity.
A separate team of doctors from Medanta left for Thailand later on Sunday to ensure proper treatment for the injured doctors at a burns facility. “They will help in transferring the injured from local hospital to a proper health facility,” said the source.
The aircraft, Pilatus PC 12 (VT-AVG), belonged to Delhi-based charter company, Air Charter Services. It had taken off from Delhi at 8.42am on Sunday. It then took a refuelling stop in Kolkata en route to Bangkok and later crash-landed at Nakhon Pathom airport, about 730 km from Bangkok late Sunday afternoon.
The hospital had hired the charter plane to pick up a patient from Bangkok, who was reportedly suffering from a lung disease.