Eight Britons believed dead in Thai air crash

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LONDON, Sep 18 (Reuters) Eight Britons are believed to have died when a budget airliner crashed in the Thai resort of Phuket this week, Foreign Secretary David Miliband said topday.

''My thoughts are with all of those who have been affected and particularly with the families of the eight British nationals we now believe lost their lives,'' Miliband said in a statement.

''Three British nationals remain in hospital, one of them in a critical condition,'' he said.

Miliband praised British Foreign Office staff and the Thai authorities for their response to the crash.

The airliner veered off the runway while trying to land in a fierce monsoon storm on Sunday, killing 89 people.

REUTERS ARB ND1820

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