Flying is considered the safest way to travel, but that doesn’t mean plane crashes don’t happen. Anna Bartsch of Australia had such an experience in Myanmar (Burma) on Christmas Day and lived to tell the tale.
Bartsch and partner Stuart Benson were two of the five Australians who survived the Air Bagan Fokker 100 jet mishap after it made an emergency crash landing near Heho airport in eastern Shan state.
Seventy of the 71 people on the flight survived. One tour guide and a motorcyclist were not so lucky.
Bartsch from Adelaide, told Macquarie Radio on Thursday that she and Benson felt unbelievably lucky to have made it to the ground alive, claims theaustralian.com.
On the phone from Myanmar, Bartsch said:
“It’s quite surreal. It’s hard to really register that the whole series of events were anything other than a crazy movie that we watched.”
There didn’t appear to be anything wrong until the actual crash had begun, says News.com.
“The first was the bump and riding the bump and the skidding, that all happened so fast and without warning, but there wasn’t really even time to feel scared … The fear really only came … when we looked out the window as soon as we’d come to a halt and saw the flames through our window and realized how urgently we needed to get out … There were moments there … where I thought I can’t see us getting out, certainly not all of us, in time.”
Bartsch and Benson had been seated well down the aisle and quickly moved to the exits to maximize distance from the fuel tanks in the wings. She commented:
“Little did I know that the wings weren’t there anymore. We only realized that when we got outside.”
The wings had been torn off by the trees as the plane fell, and the soft earth had absorbed much of the impact.
Bartsch had only suffered minor cuts and bruises, but the luggage was lost.