Lao military plane with defense chief crashes

Lao military plane with defense chief crashes

Lao military plane with defense chief crashes

Written by Staff Writer

17 May, 2014 | 10:38 am

 A plane carrying several senior Laotian government officials crashed Saturday morning, killing at least three people, a Laotian diplomat said Saturday.

The diplomat said the minister of public security — one of the country’s most feared and powerful officials in the  Communist government — was onboard and confirmed dead.

Also killed in the crash were the minister of defense, Douangchay Phichit, and the governor of Vientiane province, said the diplomat, who spoke on condition he not be identified.

The plane was traveling from the capital, Vientiane, to the mountainous northeastern province of Xiangkhouang, where the officials were due to attend an official ceremony.

Thai media reports said the plane was a Lao Air Force Antonov AN-74-300. A Lao Facebook page showed images of thick black smoke rising up next to what appeared to be an airport runway. The images could not be independently confirmed.

The crash was the second in Laos in the last year. Last October 49 people were killed when a Lao Airlines flight crashed in the south of the country.

-NYT

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