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Laos Recovers 39 Bodies From River Plane Crash

  • VOA News

Lao authorities say they have recovered the bodies of 39 people who were on board a Lao Airlines passenger plane that crashed into the Mekong River on Wednesday. Ten people have not been found.

Authorities said French investigators and Thai navy divers deployed sonar equipment on the river Sunday in an attempt to locate the plane's wreckage and flight data recorder. They said strong currents were complicating the effort.

The ATR-72 turboprop aircraft crashed into the river in stormy weather as it approached the southern Lao city of Pakse on a domestic flight from the capital, Vientiane.

More than half of the 44 passengers on board were foreigners, including nationals of Australia, Canada, China, France, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam. The plane also had five crew members, including a Cambodian captain.

Officials said 14 of the recovered bodies had been identified. The plane crash is the deadliest to affect Laos in decades.