Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lao plane crash leaves all 49 dead

All 49 people aboard a Lao Airlines ATR 72 which crashed into the Mekong River on Wednesday are believed to have perished with no sign of survivors despite extensive searches in the area where the aircraft went down. Pictures on Thai TV showed the plane partly submerged in shallow water, its tail severed, next to a group of rescuers in small boats.

Flight QV301 from the Laotian capital Vientiane came down about 8km from Pakse airport at around 16:00 local time [09:00 GMT]. Foreigners from some 10 countries including seven from France and a family from Australia were among the dead, as well as Laotian nationals [Sky News Australia]. Others on board included five Thai nationals, three South Koreans and citizens from Canada, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, the USA and Vietnam.

The plane belonging to state-run Lao Airlines crashed in bad weather just before it was due to land at Pakse airport. The cause of the crash has yet to be established but it has been reported that the ATR 72-600 twin-engine turboprop aircraft had not undergone a safety audit [Sky News Australia]. However Lao Airlines, a small company with just 14 aircraft in its fleet, has until now had a good safety record.

[BBC / TelegraphCNN / Wikipedia]

tvnewswatch, Shanghai, China

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