Search continues for Lao air crash victims in Mekong Riverလာအိုေလေၾကာင္းလိုင္းမွ ေလယာဥ္တစ္စီး မဲခါင္ျမစ္ထဲသို႔ ပ်က္က်-video



UBON RATCHATHANI, Oct 17 – Thai and Lao rescuers today carried on their search for possible survivors of a Lao Airlines plane crash in the Mekong River in southern Laos Wednesday afternoon.

Rescue units from Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani, Surin and Si Sa Ket provinces and Lao PDR officials from Champasak in southern Laos jointly searched for survivors, after five bodies were found in yesterday’s mission which was called off at nearly midnight.

The Lao Airlines ATR-72 turboprop plane flying from the capital Vientiane crashed at about 4.10 pm just eight kilometres short of its destination at Pakse airport in Champasak province, and 45 km from the Chong Mek border crossing checkpoint between Thailand and Laos.

A preliminary report said the aircraft carried 44 passengers, mostly Lao nationals, and five crew members. On board the flight were passengers of a number of nationalities including five Thais. Three PTT employees, two Thais and a Lao, were reportedly on board.

The passenger manifest from the airline listed the nationalities of 44 people including 17 Lao, five Australians, seven French, five Thais, three Korean, two Vietnamese and one person each from the United States, Canada, China, Malaysia, and Taiwan, according to a report from Reuters news agency.

The airline said in a statement it had yet to determine the cause of the crash, but senior Lao aviation official said the tail end of Typhoon Nari may have been a factor.

Thai Foreign Ministry’s Department of Information director general Sek Wannamethee said Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul has closely coordinated with his Lao counterpart Thonglun Sisoulith and offered assistance and facilitation in searching for the missing passengers and crew.

Mr Sek said the Thai ministry has assigned 30 divers from Ubon Ratchathani to help search for the bodies. Five bodies were reportedly recovered but they could not yet be identified.

The passenger manifest from the airline listed the nationalities of 44 people including 17 Lao, five Australians, seven French, five Thais, three Korean, two Vietnamese and one person each from the United States, Canada, China, Malaysia, and Taiwan, according to a report from Reuters news agency. (MCOT online news)

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