Lao Airlines ATR-72 crashes in Pakxe

A Lao Airlines ATR-72, carrying at least 40 people, crashed at 4.10 pm yesterday in Phonthong district, Champassak province, a few kilometres from Pakxe International Airport.

Flight QV 301 was flying from Vientiane to Pakxe airport.

Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation under the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Mr Yakua Lopangkao, confirmed the accident, but said the reason for the crash and the fate of those on board was under investigation.

The plane came down in the Mekong River and sank below the surface. Local officials helped to pull bodies from the aircraft and bring them ashore, according to local authorities.

Mr Yakua told Vientiane Times the accident may have occurred due to bad weather triggered by tropical storm Nari, which affected the central and southern provinces yesterday.

He said he would be able to provide further information when investigations revealed more details.

The French ATR-72 is a twin-engine turboprop short-haul airliner. The aircraft seats up to 78 passengers in a single-class configuration, and is operated by a two-pilot crew.

Source: Vientiane Times
Published on October 17, 2013