Home World Asia News Lao Airlines plane crashes into Mekong River killing at least 40 people

Lao Airlines plane crashes into Mekong River killing at least 40 people

A Lao Airlines aircraft on an internal flight has crashed into the Mekong River in southern Laos, media in the region say.

Reports from neighboring Thailand put the number of dead at around 40.

There is no official word from the airline on casualties so far.

An airline official quoted by the Bangkok Post said the plane crashed in bad weather just before it was due to land at Pakse on a flight from the capital Vientiane.

A Lao Airlines official said the plane had crashed at about 4 p.m.  near Pakse, Champasak province, which is on the borders of both Thailand and Cambodia.

A Lao Airlines aircraft on an internal flight has crashed into the Mekong River in southern Laos,

A Lao Airlines aircraft on an internal flight has crashed into the Mekong River in southern Laos,

Thai television showed a photograph of the ATR 72 turboprop plane partly submerged in shallow water on a stretch of the Mekong, the tail severed. Another television channel showed what appeared to be several bodies on the bank of the river.

“We do not yet know the number of casualties, our executives are currently in a meeting and will provide more details in the morning,” a Lao Airlines official told Reuters.

Lao Airlines is the national carrier of the communist state and has operated since 1976. Its aircraft carried 658,000 passengers last year and it has a fleet of just 14 planes, mostly propeller-driven.