Fire ravages Thailand’s ‘aeroplane graveyard’ popular with tourists

Fire destroyed abandoned planes at a well-known ‘aeroplane graveyard’ in Thailand that became popular with tourists. The wasteland with an old Boeing 747 and two McDonnell Douglas MD-82 was listed on TripAdvisor as one of the most unusual abandoned places in the world to explore. However, nearby residents were disturbed by black smoke and strong chemical odours coming from one of the junked planes last night in Bangkok (March 24). Fire crews tackled the blaze and brought it under control shortly after 10:15pm. They believe it started in dry grass before engulfing one of the jets. Nanthachok Insawang from the Hua Mark Fire and Rescue station said he received reports of the fire at around 9pm He added: ‘The fire was not a serious case as the flames were burning within a space of 100 square metres with no nearby buildings. However, a plane was on fire and emitting a strong chemical odour which disturbed people who live nearby.’ The cause of fire had not been concluded yet and the officials were further investigating. Bangkok’s Airplane Graveyard is a large open wasteland that became popular among tourists and photographers who explored the abandoned aircraft. It was mentioned on blogs as one of the best urban exploration sites in the world. Opportunistic squatters and homeless people even began charging people 200 baht (around $6.40) to get into the wasteland and see the planes. The junked Boeing 747 and two McDonnell Douglas MD-82 were dumped there in 2010 following a crash in Phuket, Thailand, in which 85 passengers and five crew members. Eight British tourists perished in the accident. Both of the two smaller planes belonged to defunct carrier One-Two-Go Airlines, which was banned between 2009 and 2010 from operating in European Union nations due to safety concerns. The owners later changed the name to Orient Thai Airlines following the accident and changed the fleet – selling the two smaller planes for scrap before they were dumped on the wasteland in the Ramkhamhaeng district.