News / Asia

Lao Plane Crash Kills 49; Bad Weather Blamed

A Lao soldier places incense sticks into the ground beside the wreckage left by a Lao Airlines turboprop plane as he pays his respects to the victims of Wednesday's ill-fated flight, in Pakse, Laos, Oct. 17, 2013.
A Lao soldier places incense sticks into the ground beside the wreckage left by a Lao Airlines turboprop plane as he pays his respects to the victims of Wednesday's ill-fated flight, in Pakse, Laos, Oct. 17, 2013.
VOA News
Lao authorities are blaming bad weather for the crash of a state-run airlines flight that killed all 49 people on board.

The Lao Airlines ATR-72 turboprop plane was flying Wednesday from the capital, Vientiane, to the southern town of Pakse when it crashed into the Mekong River.

The CEO of Lao Airline, Somphone Douangdara expressed condolences to the families of the victims during a news conference on Thursday.

“We are currently conducting search and rescue missions to recover parts of the aircraft and bodies of the victims as quickly as possible with the help of all technical experts from inside and outside the country," said Douangdara.

He added a special team from the airline is working with national and local authorities, as well as investigators from the aircraft manufacturer, to identify the cause of the accident.

The plane was new and was delivered to the airline in March.

A Lao newspaper quotes a witness as saying the plane was about to land when it was hit by a rush of strong winds and lost its balance. The pilots tried to bring the plane up, but it veered into the river.  Other witnesses say if the pilots had not tried to lift the plane up, it would have crashed into houses and a nearby army ammunition depot, which would have caused more loss of life.

A passenger manifest showed 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 were on board.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Lao service.


  • A Laotian soldier covers the body of a plane crash victim with a sheet on the bank of the Mekong River in Pakse, Laos, Oct. 18, 2013.
  • Thai rescuers unload the body of a plane crash victim from a boat in Pakse, Laos, Oct. 18, 2013.
  • Rescue workers recover the body of a plane crash victim in the Mekong River in Pakse, Laos, Oct. 18, 2013.
  • Loatian officials unload the body of a plane crash victim upon arrival at a Chinese temple in Pakse, Laos, Oct. 18, 2013.
  • People look at the debris of a Lao Airlines turboprop plane that crashed into the Mekong River, in Pakse, Laos, Oct. 17, 2013.
  • Onlookers watch the search operation for the lost Lao Airlines plane on the banks of the Mekong River in Pakse, Laos, Oct. 17, 2013.
  • Divers search for bodies of victims of a crashed Lao Airlines plane in the Mekong River in Pakse, Laos, Oct. 17, 2013.
  • A Lao soldier places incense sticks into the ground beside the wreckage left by a Lao Airlines turboprop plane as he pays his respects to the victims of the ill-fated flight, in Pakse, Laos, Oct. 17, 2013.
  • The remains of one of the victims of the Lao Airlines plane crash lies in a Chinese temple in Pakse, Laos Oct. 17, 2013.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mary from: Wi
October 18, 2013 12:49 PM
This is very sad to see, sincere condolence to the family who have lost their love ones in this tragedy.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid