The students, Adel Samae, 19, from Phuket, and Orawan Jindarak, 18, were sitting on the back seats in the aircraft when it crashed.
The pilot, 68-year-old Capt Wattana Thinphang-nga, and his co-pilot, 1st Lt Narin Thaweewat, 67, from Pathum Thani, both perished in the impact. (See story here.)
1st Lt Narin was a specialist instructor in aviation maintenance at Thalang Technical College, where Mr Adel and Ms Orawan are enrolled in the Aviation Maintenance Department of High Vocational Certificate 1 course.
Mr Adel and Ms Orawan were among a group of students from the college on trip to Phuket Airpark on Saturday. Both were selected to board the small aircraft for a flight around the area.
After the crash, Mr Adel and Ms Orawan were rushed to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town as soon as first-responders were able to safely extricate them from the wreckage.
Of the two, the deepest concern lies for Mr Adel, who remains comatose while doctors work on reducing the swelling of his brain.
Mr Adel has already undergone surgery for a broken hip, broken right leg, broken right arm and a broken jaw.
“Mr Adel’s condition is stable as his pressure and breathing are fine, but his response to stimuli is not so good,” a medical staffer at Vachira Hospital told The Phuket News yesterday (Mar 14).
“Mr Adel’s state of consciousness rates only five on the 15-point Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). He has not opened his eyes yet.
“He has been given medication to reduce the swelling of his brain and doctors and nurses are closely monitoring his condition,” the staffer added.
Ms Orawan, however, has been discharged from the ICU, but remains in care at the hospital.
Ms Orawan suffered internal bleeding and a broken back, as well as broken bones in both hands.
“She is conscious but cannot walk. Doctors began her physical therapy today. It will take time for her to walk again.” the staffer told The Phuket News yesterday.
The pilot involved in the crash, Capt Wattana, a well-known and much-respected retired commercial pilot with decades of flying experience, was also founder and President of the Phuket Flying Club.
The traditional seven nights of Buddhist funeral rites for Capt Wattana began last Sunday at Wat Sopon Wanaram (Wat Pa Khlok), about 300 metres south of the Phuket Airpark (see map below).
The services continue each night starting at 7pm, with the final night of funeral rites starting at 7pm on Saturday (Mar 17).
The cremation ceremony will be held on Sunday (Mar 18), starting at noon.
Thalang Police yesterday (Mar 14) confirmed that they had completed their investigation into the incident, but had yet to reach any conclusions as to the cause of the crash.
“Police have completed the process compiling the evidence, however, we are still waiting for the Aircraft Investigation Committee (AIC) to complete their investigation before (making) any conclusions,” said Lt Col Anukul Nuket, Deputy Chief of the Thalang Police.
“The AIC’s investigation may take months as they have deemed this a ‘serious case’,” he said. (See story here.)