October 16, 2013
Credit: Air Team Images
Lao Airlines says it hopes to reveal more today about the cause of a turboprop crash in Laos that has apparently resulted in the death of all 44 passengers and five crew.
The ATR 72-600 took off from Vientiane at 2:45 p.m. local time on Oct. 16, bound for the southern town of Pakse. According to a statement from the airline, the aircraft crashed into the Mekong River while preparing to land. The aircraft “ran into extreme(ly) bad weather conditions,” the carrier said.
There were reportedly no survivors from the crash. While Lao Airlines has confirmed that the total on board was 49, other reports say there were 44 passengers and crew. The airline said it was sending rescue units to the crash site. “We are doing our best to investigate the cause of the crash and we hope to disclose our findings by Oct. 17,” the carrier said in its statement.
Lao Airlines is a state-run carrier that has an operational fleet of 14 aircraft, according to the Aviation Week Intelligence Network’s fleet database. The total includes four Airbus A320s, six ATR 72s, two Cessna 208B Grand Caravans, one DHC-6-300 Twin Otter, and one Harbin Y12-2. The ATR 72 fleet comprises four -500s with an average age of 3.6 years, and two -600s with an average age of 0.8 years.