Plane crashes into Mekong River


LAOS –– A plane carrying 49 passengers and crew that crashed in southern Laos hit bad weather as it came into land, officials in the South East Asian nation said. The Laos Airlines plane, flying from the capital Vientiane, crashed into the Mekong River on yesterday near its destination of Pakse.

All 44 passengers and five crew are believed to have died. Footage of the scene on today showed divers in the Mekong River, pulling out parts of the wreckage.

At daybreak, divers could be seen clinging to boats as they went out into the middle of the river to try retrieving bodies from the submerged wreckage of Flight QV301. It is a difficult task; at the end of the monsoon rainy season the current in the river is very strong, and is carrying much churned up mud. The bodies that have already been recovered were initially laid out at a nearby temple.

The airline has suggested extremely bad weather contributed to the accident. Strong storms have passed over Vietnam, Laos and Thailand over the past three days at the tail end of Typhoon Nari. (BBC) 

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