Dozens Dead in Lao Airlines Crash

Bad weather blamed for ATR 72 accident.

An announcement on Lao Airlines' Facebook page yesterday offered condolences to the "family, friends, colleagues and relatives" of the people aboard Flight QV301, an ATR 72 twin turboprop designed for up to 74 passengers that crashed on Wednesday on its way from Vientiane to Pakse, Laos. The airplane was expected to land just before 6 p.m., a little more than an hour after its departure from Vientiane. Instead, the ATR 72 crashed into the Mekong River near Pakse in what the statement described as "extreme bad weather conditions."

CNN reported that the weather was remnants from Typhoon Nari and that Pakse had received more than 3.9 inches of rain between Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to a Ministry of Public Works and Transport statement, all of the 44 passengers and five crewmembers aboard the airplane were feared dead, though the number of fatalities had not yet been confirmed. An investigation of the cause of the accident is underway.

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