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French, Thai Experts Aid Search for Laos Plane Wreckage

  • VOA News

A French rescue team surveys the crash site of an ATR-72 turboprop plane in Pakse, Oct. 19, 2013.

A French rescue team surveys the crash site of an ATR-72 turboprop plane in Pakse, Oct. 19, 2013.

French and Thai experts are helping rescue workers in Laos search for the remains of a passenger plane that crashed into the Mekong River Wednesday.

All 49 people on board the Lao Airlines plane are presumed dead. As of Saturday, more than 30 bodies had been recovered.

The teams from France's air accident agency and the Thai military were using sonar equipment Saturday to scan the river for the aircraft and remaining victims.

The French-made ATR-72 turboprop plane was flying Wednesday from the capital of Vientiane to the southern town of Pakse, when it crashed into the river in southern Laos. The storm it was flying through is being considered as a possible cause of the crash.

A passenger list identified the nationalities of 44 passengers on board, including 17 Lao, seven French, five Australians, five Thais, three Koreans, two Vietnamese, and one person each from the United States, Canada, China, Malaysia and Taiwan. The other five people on the plane were crew members.
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