In a rare turn of events, a plane passenger was shot during a flight in Myanmar. The gunshot did not come from a fellow passenger, but instead from the ground. The passenger was onboard a Myanmar National Airlines and was shot while descending to land in Loikaw, the capital of the eastern state of Kayah. As the plane was descending, a bullet pierced through the fuselage and hit the passenger sat in a window seat. At the time of the incident the plane was at 3,500 feet.
At the time of the attack, the plane was holding 63 passengers. The plane was able to land safely in Loikaw and the injured passengers were taken to the hospital.
Disturbing images were posted to twitter. In the photos you can see the bullet holes on the side of the aircraft. The plane is an ATR 82-600 registered to Myanmar National Airlines. One photo also shows a male passenger with several blood-soaked tissues on the seat next to him. The injuries do not appear to be life threatening.
Passenger injured on board a Myanmar National Airlines ATR-72 after it was hit by gunfire while landing at Loikaw Airport in Myanmar. There has been widespread unrest across the nation over the last 19 months. https://t.co/v1cZN3XhAY pic.twitter.com/Wr8TeVog3r
— Breaking Aviation News & Videos (@aviationbrk) September 30, 2022
After the incident, Myanmar National Airlines said all flights to Loikaw were cancelled indefinitely and security forces are increasing patrols of the area. The Myanmar military has also reportedly deployed troops near the airport.
The Myanmar military council accused two resistance forces – the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) and the People’s Defence Force – of firing at the aircraft. However, the KNPP has reportedly said that their organization was not involved in the alleged shooting, and avoids civilian targets. Meanwhile, as per Myanmar Now, the flight bookings for Loikaw-bound flights have been cancelled until further notice.