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Sunday, 4 March, 2001, 07:33 GMT
Bomb responsible for Thai Airways fire

Senior security advisers to Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said on Sunday that a bomb was responsible for the fire that gutted an airliner he was about to board.

Police suspect the attack could be linked to Mr Thaksin's pledge to crack down on drug smuggling, largely blamed on drug lords in neighbouring Burma.

A fire wrecked the Thai Airways jet only minutes before passengers were due to board.

One person was killed and seven injured when the plane exploded into flames on the runway at Bangkok's international airport.

An airport official said 149 passengers had been scheduled to take the flight.

Police said the body of the crew member had been found in the wreckage of the plane, but that other flight crew and ground staff were safely evacuated before it was completely gutted.

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See also:

17 Feb 01 | Asia-Pacific
Thaksin names cabinet
09 Feb 01 | Asia-Pacific
Thai parliament votes Thaksin as PM
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