Lao Air Crash Killed Senior Officials

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By: Jingkhu Xiong
Photo Credit: www.laostoday.net

Laos – On Saturday, May 17, 2014, Lao’s local news reported that several Lao government officials were killed in Xieng Khouang province when a military airplane crashed into the dense forest.
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The crashed plane is an Antonov AN 74-300 and it is an airplane of the Lao Army Air Force. The accident was at Ban Nadee village, Pek district, Xieng Khouang province. The plane was fired immediately after it crashed into the dense jungle, according to Thailand’s Foreign Ministry report.

This Laos air force plane believed to be carrying 20 passengers, and most of them are government senior officials, including Lao’s defense minister and national assembly president.

Lao government officials who were aboard the plane included 1. Maj. Gen. Douangchay Phichith, defense minister, 2. Mr. Soukanh Mahalath, Vientiane governor, 3. Mrs. Pany Yathotou (A Hmong official), President of National Assembly, 4. Mr. Chuong Sombounkhan, 5. Mr. Bouasheang Champaphan and many other senior officials.

Maj. Gen. Douangchay Phicith and his wife and Mr. Soukanh Mahalath were announced dead at the scene. However, the Lao authorities found at least three survivors, and one of the survivors is an air hostess. Authorities are still in search for other passengers and investigate the cause of this accident.

As now, there is no official statement released by the Lao government about the incident.

This air force plane took off from Vientiane and was on its way to Xieng Khouang province. The plane was boarded by many honorary guests and senior officials to attend a celebration of the victory of the Plain of Jars. The celebration is set at 2nd Battalion of the Plain of Jars, which is located on a plateau in Xieng Khouang province.

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Latest updated (USA) 05/17/2014 at 7:00AM Chicago time: The following are the names listing onboard the airplane. As we received and confirmed more updated, we will post them:
►ຄະນະຜູ້ແທນ
1. ທ່ານ ພົນໂທ ດວງໃຈ ພິຈິດ ລັດຖະມົນຕີກະຊວງປ້ອງກັນປະເທດ

2. ທ່ານ ທອງບັນ ແສງອາພອນ ລັດຖະມົນຕີກະຊວງປ້ອງກັນຄວາມສະຫງົບ
3. ທ່ານ ເຈືອງ ສົມບູນຂັນ ຫົວໜ້າຄະນະໂຄສະນາອົບຮົມສູນກາງ
4. ທ່ານ ສຸກັນ ມະຫາລາດ ເຈົ້າຂອງນະຄອນຫຼວງວຽງຈັນ
5. ທ່ານ ພັນໂທ ນ ທັນດາ ພິຈິດ ພັນລະຍາ ທ່ານ ພົນໂທ ດວງໃຈ ພິຈິດ
6. ທ່ານ ພັນຕີ ແພງລຳພົງ ນະຈັນທີ ເລຂາທ່ານ ພົນໂທ ດວງໃຈ ພິຈິດ
7. ວ/ທ ເລ້ ສີພັນ ໃກ້ຊິດ ທ່ານ ພົນໂທ ດວງໃຈ ພິຈິດ
8. ຮ/ອ ຄຳປານ ແສງມາລາ ຜູ້ຂັບລົດ ທ່ານ ພົນໂທ ດວງໃຈ ພິຈິດ
9. ສ/ອ ຄຳຫຼ້າ ໃກ້ຊິດ ທ່ານ ທອງບັນ ແສງອາພອນ (ຜູ້ລອດຊີວິດ)
10. ດຣ. ກິງແກ້ວ ແພດ ກົມຮັກສາສຸຂະພາບສູນກາງ (ຜູ້ລອດຊີວິດ)
11. ດຣ. ຄຳຫຼາ ແພດປະຈຳ ທ່ານ ສຸກັນ ມະຫາລາດ

► ຄະນະຈຸບິນ
1. ພັນເອກ ບຸນເອື້ອ ໝັ້ນມະນີວົງ ຫົວໜ້າຈຸບິນ
2. ພັນໂທ ສົມພອນ
3. ພັນໂທ ຄຸດແກ້ວ
4. ພັນໂທ ມີ ພູວິໄລ
5. ພັດໂທ ພອຍຄຳ
6. ນາງ ພາວັນ (ຜູ້ລອດຊີວິດ)
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UPDATED 05/17/2014 USA TIME AT 7:40PM CHICAGO TIME:
We received from personal sources that Mrs. Pany Yathotou was not in the Lao Airline that crashed early but we have no confirmation yet at this time.  When we confirmed her situation, we will update everyone.  Stay tune.
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UPDATED 05/18/2014 USA TIME AT 4:00AM CHICAGO TIME:
Lao deputy pm among dead in plane crash

The Defence Ministry has expressed condolences for the death of Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Douangchay Pichit, who was among 14 people killed in a plane crash early yesterday.

Defence permanent secretary Nipat Thonglek said the ministry was saddened to learn of the deaths of Lt Gen Douangchay, his wife, and other senior Lao government officials and passengers aboard the ill-fated air force flight.

“Lt Gen Douangchay was a military officer with a genial personality,” Gen Nipat said. “He had expressed his concerns over various situations in Thailand and we have had a great relationship with him for a long time.”

The deputy premier was a familiar figure here, as he was in charge of border affairs and the repatriation of Hmong refugees from Thailand to Laos.

Gen Nipat said he would attend Lt Gen Duoangchay’s funeral ceremony in Laos as soon as the Asean Defence Ministers Meeting-Plus wraps up in Myanmar’s Nay Pyi Taw on Tuesday.

He said he expects Asean defence ministers and representatives at the ADMM-Plus will mourn Lt Gen Duoangchay’s death.

The deputy PM, who was also a member of the ruling Lao People’s Revolutionary Party central committee, was among the 14 passengers killed when the air force plane crashed yesterday in Xiangkhouang province in northeastern Laos.

Three passengers reportedly survived the crash.

Quoting an announcement from the Lao Prime Minister’s Office, local news reports said the Antonov AN-TK74-300 aircraft crashed around 7am local time while attempting to land at an airfield in Peak district.

Lao Public Security Minister Thongban Saengaphon, Vientiane governor Soukan Mahalat and party propaganda chief Chuang Sombounkhan were also confirmed as being among the dead.

The group was en route to a ceremony marking the 55th anniversary of the 2nd Battalion’s victory over royalist forces at the Plain of Jars.

“The bodies will be brought back to Vientiane today,” an Aviation Department official said on condition of anonymity.

The crash was the second major aviation accident in Laos the space of seven months.

In October, a Lao Airlines ATR-72 turboprop aircraft crashed during a heavy storm as it approached Pakse Airport in Champassak province, killing all 49 people on board. Lt Gen Douangchay had played a key role in searching for the bodies of passengers after that crash.

Laos has recorded 30 fatal air accidents since the 1950s, according to the Aviation Safety Network.

Source: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/410348/lao-deputy-pm-among-dead-in-plane-crash

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UPDATED 05/19/2014 USA TIME AT 11:40AM CHICAGO TIME:
We have confirmation from sources in Laos that Mrs. Pany Yathotou was on another flight and she was not on the airplane that went down.  Mrs. Pany Yathotou is alive and well.  If there should be any latest development on her status, we will update you right here.

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