49 Believed Dead in Plane Crash in Laos

BANGKOK (AP) -

A Lao Airlines flight crashed Wednesday in the Southeast Asian nation, apparently killing all 49 people aboard, including passengers from 11 countries, the Lao government said.

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport, which operates the airline as a state enterprise, said 44 passengers and five crew members were aboard flight QV301 from the Lao capital, Vientiane, to Pakse in the south.

“Upon preparing to land at Pakse Airport the aircraft ran into extreme bad weather conditions and was reportedly crashed into the Mekong River,” the ministry said in a statement.

It said there was no word of survivors. The airline flies an ATR 72-600 twin-engine turboprop plane on the 290-mile route. The aircraft is configured with 68-74 seats, said maker ATR.

The Lao government said the airline “is taking all necessary steps to coordinate and dispatch all rescue units to the accident site in the hope of finding survivors.”