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Dozens feared dead following Lao Airlines crash

Dozens feared dead following Lao Airlines crash

As many as 40 people are feared dead following a plane crash in the south-east Asian destination of Laos.

A Lao Airlines operated aircraft crashed into the Mekong River in southern Laos earlier near the town of Pakse, in Champasak province.

Thai television showed images of the ATR 72 turboprop plane partly submerged in shallow water.

Another channel showed what appeared to be several bodies on the bank of the river.

“We do not yet know the number of casualties, our executives are currently in a meeting and will provide more details in the morning,” an airline official told Reuters.

Lao Airlines is the national carrier of the communist state and has operated since 1976.

Its aircraft carried 658,000 passengers last year and it has a fleet of just 14 planes, mostly propeller-driven.