Tragedy In Bangkok: Airport Worker Crushed By Boeing 737

Tragedy struck in Bangkok earlier today as an airport worker was crushed to death by a Boeing 737. The incident, involving a Nok Air aircraft, injured one other person.

Boeing 737, Nok Air, Airport Worker Death
An airport worker was crushed and killed by a Boeing 737 this morning. Photo: Getty Images

Unfortunately, a member of the airport staff at Don Mueang International Airport was killed this morning in an accident at work. The tragic accident happened as he was pushing back a Boeing 737. Reports seem to indicate that the bar in between the aircraft and the tow truck snapped. Video of the incident appears to show that, while the tow truck came to a halt, the aircraft continued moving forward.

What happened?

Nok Air flight DD6458 was due to fly from Bangkok to Nakhon Si Thammarat at around 8 am local time this morning. However, the flight was delayed due to the incident. According to reporting by the Daily Mail, There were no passengers on board at the time of the accident.


Instead, the Boeing 737, featuring a brightly colored livery, was being towed to the gate before its first service of the day. When the truck towing the aircraft came to a halt, the aircraft appeared to carry straight on. As a result, the truck ended up crushed underneath the aircraft’s belly.

Boeing 737, Nok Air, Airport Worker Death
The aircraft had been due to fly to Nakhon Si Thammarat. Image: GCMap

The airport’s director, Samphan Khutharanon told that,

“The towing device that connects the vehicle to the plane broke, causing it to stop while the plane continued moving forward.”


One death reported

There were two people on board the truck at the time of the incident. Thanisorn Oncha-am was one of those onboard. While the airport worker initially survived the incident, he was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Another member of staff was also on the truck, and was reportedly injured in the collision. However, it appears that the second individual has survived.

Simple Flying was unable to contact Nok Air regarding the incident. However, in a statement to the Daily Mail, the airline said,

“One member of ground staff in the tow truck was seriously injured and died at the hospital and another injured officer has been taken to the hospital. The airline will provide assistance in terms of financial remedies for the family of the victim and continue to take good care of the family’s mental state.”

Boeing 737, Nok Air, Airport Worker Death
Nok Air has said it will assist the deceased man’s family. Photo: Sergey via Flickr

Following the incident, the Boeing 737 remained on the ground for an investigation to take place. It will also be assessed for damage. A replacement aircraft was used for the flight to Nakhon Si Thammarat. The flight, which was due to depart at 08:40 ended up taking off at 09:50.

Simple Flying expresses its condolences those affected by today’s incident.

Did you witness the tragedy in Bangkok this morning? What do you make of the incident? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


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How old was the towbar?

Janaka Chandrasekera

Condolences to the bereaved family,colleagues and friends.
May his soul rest in peace.

Gerry S

Reminder: not all aviation-related tragedies occur in the air. Tow operators are known to pilots even though they are unnamed. Hopefully this was an unmanned a/c. Condolences to mans family and loved ones. Such a happy looking plane too. Sad! RIP brother.

Rayhan ahmed

I don’t understand this incident 1) was the bye pass pin in ??? This stops the pilot from steering the aircraft 2) were the engines started one or both via The head set man 3) The pushback bar could not have broken with the pressure of pushback the only thing that would have broken were the bolts connected to pushback end connection which holds the aircraft front landing gear . The only thing I can think of is early release Of bye pass pin or bye pass pin failure this could have made the aircraft move forward in to the… Read more »

Peter wijewardene

Tragedy at DMK – is the aircraft completely unmanned ( no pilot to do an emergency brake ) at that time ?

New emergency measures must be taken to stop the mobility of the plane when tow truck is disconnected for what ever reason. Even a safety pin / pressured system when dislodged should activate brakes ( same as trains).
– Engineering dept should seriously consider this safety feature.

Gerry S

Thanks for explaining the tow procedure Rayhan. It is good to fully understand what happens when a/c is towed.