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Category: <span>Laos</span>

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Security of Laos Dies in Plane Crash

Laos plane crashA plane carrying the Deputy Prime Minister of Laos, along with several other high profile officials, crashed in Pek district, Xieng Khouang province, around 500 kilometres away from the capital city Vientiane.

The accident happened on the morning of May 17 when the plane was taking 20 people to Xieng Khouang to attend a military ceremony being held to celebrate 55th anniversary of one of the military divisions of Laos.

According to the Thai Defense Ministry’s permanent secretary, Nipat Thonglek, General Douangchay Phichit, who is the Deputy PM, and Thongbane Sengaphone the minister of public security, have been confirmed dead in the accident. Other deceased include the Governor of Vientaine, Sukan Mahalad and two other high ranked officials.

The Ukrainian-made Antonov AN-74TK-300 aircraft was operated by the National Air force and was used for the movement of VIPs in Laos.

The cause of crash is not known at the moment.

Painful Search Continues in Laos

photographer Teerawut W

Retrieval of the Lao Airlines plane that crashed in the Mekong river on a go-around has been hampered by primitive conditions. The plane has only been in service since March 2013.

The plane encountered a strong gust of wind, its nose lifted, then the ATR-72-600 impacted near Done Kho Island. Although the accident was on the 19th, and investigators have detected signals from the flight data recorders, rustic conditions, poor visibility and turbulent river eddies have prevented recovery of the black boxes. Divers have had to use ropes in the muddy water.

Forty-four victims had been recovered from the swollen river in Laos. The bodies have been subject to significant drift, due to the forceful currents.

Four crew, the Cambodian captain, plus 16 Laotians, seven French travellers, six Australians, five Thais, three South Koreans, two Vietnamese, and one national each from the United States, Canada, Malaysia, China and Taiwan were aboard.

This is Lao Airlines first fatal crash in 13 years.


Lao Airlines Victims Recovered in Mekong River

There were Australians-a family of four and an aid worker and his father-aboard the ATR 72 crash in Laos. Forty-four passengers including five crew died in the crash. THe plane caught the tail end of a typhoon and crashed in the Mekong River. People from ten countries were aboard, including Koreans, French and Australians.

The Oct 16, 2013 crash is the first reported crash of Lao airlines.

Lao Airlines Flight QV301 Avions de Transport Regional ATR-72-600, from Vientiene was about to land at Pakse airport when it crashed. No survivors were reported. Between the weather and low visibility underwater, few bodies have been recovered so far.

Rescuers in fishing boats retrieved some of the remains.

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