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Muay Thai Boxer Shares Near-Death Experience on Qatar Airways Flight

Muay Thai Boxer Recounts Near-Death Experience on Flight

A Muay Thai boxer, Thananchai Sit Song Phi Nong, recounted a harrowing near-death experience when he and fellow passengers were stranded for three hours on a Qatar Airways flight from Greece to Qatar, despite a fire breaking out at the back of the aircraft.

Thananchai had traveled to Patras, Greece, to participate in the IFMA World Muaythai Championships. After the competition, he, along with 48 other Thai boxers and team members, boarded Qatar Airways flight QR204 from Athens to Doha, Qatar.

According to ThaiRath, the incident occurred shortly after boarding when the plane was preparing for takeoff. The air conditioning and engine suddenly stopped working. The pilot made three unsuccessful attempts to restart the engine. For three hours, the cabin crew and airline team tried to resolve the issue without informing the passengers, leaving them in the cabin. Some passengers began bleeding from their noses, while others had to use emergency oxygen. The situation escalated, with children crying due to the lack of air and rising panic.

Passengers demanded to disembark, and eventually, the staff agreed. At Athens Airport, a foreign woman in the terminal recorded the incident, capturing grey smoke emanating from the aircraft’s rear. The video, shared with the Thai boxer team, showed firefighters and airline personnel attempting to extinguish the fire. Passengers had been unaware of the severity of the situation.

In an interview with ThaiRath on June 11, Thananchai expressed his shock upon seeing the video. “I was shocked when I saw the video. I feel lucky to have survived. It was very hot inside the aircraft. I saw a lot of smoke coming from the back of the plane in the video and realized why it was so hot. I was covered in sweat. I was there for three hours and felt like I was suffocating.”

On the airline’s official Facebook page, passengers and their family members mentioned the incident, but Qatar Airways has yet to issue an official statement.

Despite the ordeal, Thananchai competed against Constantine Shakhtarin of Russia and lost 27-30. Thai boxers collectively won six gold, two silver, and four bronze medals.

Credit: The Thaiger

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