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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs