'Storm warning' a day before MASWings' crash in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU - A day before the fatal MASWings crash in Kudat on Thursday, co-pilot Marc Joel Bansh had posted on his Facebook page an image of a Twin Otter with a backdrop of dark clouds and a caption: "There's a storm coming."

His friends are now sharing the picture, with notes of "Rest in peace, he seemed to have known it was coming."

Marc, 22, suffered multiple fractures and head injuries and died upon admission at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here.

Passenger Tan Ah Chai, 69, also died at the hospital after being airlifted there after the crash.

Marc's Facebook page is filled with condolences to his family with friends recalling the type of person he was in their own pages.

Family friends said they requested privacy and were arranging their son's funeral for Monday.

Marc is the second of four children in a family of pilots.

His father, Heral Bansh, is a helicopter pilot with Sabah Air and his brother is a MAS Boeing 737 co-pilot.

Marc joined MASWings after graduating from the Asia Pacific FlightTraining School in Kota Baru, Kelantan, about a year ago.

In Kudat, housewife Junaini Bladi said she could only watch in horror as branches and leaves slapped against her window on the Twin Otter aircraft moments before it crashed into a house.

The plane had veered off the runway as it tried to land and ended up about 200m from the airstrip at Kampung SenSen in northern Sabah.

Junaini said that was the twin-engined aircraft suddenly pulled to the right just before the wheels touched the ground, and then the plane ploughed through a concrete fence and hit the side of the house.

Junaini, 53, who was seated on the right side of the aircraft, said as the plane hit the ground, she was flung about in her seat.

She said the aircraft then come to a stop and she and other passengers scrambled out the emergency door.

Another passenger, Erwanshah Enin, 23, said he hurt his left foot when kicking open the emergency door located just behind the co-pilot's seat.

"After I got the door open, I exited and pulled out two women and a child," he said. "I was so worried about the possibility of a fire or explosion because there was a strong stench of aviation fuel and the left engine was still running. The engine didn't stop until nearly an hour after the crash."

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