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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More