Defence minister among 14 dead in Laos plane crash

FILE PHOTO: Photo: theguardian.com

Sources named other victims as Public Security Minister, Thongban Saengaphon, Vientiane Mayor, Soukan Mahalat, and party propaganda chief, Chuang Sombounkhan.

The Defence Minister of Laos was among 14 people killed on Saturday when an air force plane crashed, rescue teams said.

The rescue team said three people survived.

The Russian-made Antonov plane went down in the north-eastern province of Xiangkhuang while the crash killed the Defence Minister, Duangchay Phichit, and some notable citizens.

Mr. Duangchay was also a deputy Prime Minister and member of the Politburo of the ruling Lao People’s Revolutionary Party.

Sources named other victims as Public Security Minister, Thongban Saengaphon, Vientiane Mayor, Soukan Mahalat, and party propaganda chief, Chuang Sombounkhan.

The three men were senior members of the communist party’s central committee.

“The bodies will be brought back to Vientiane today, meanwhile three people survived the crash,’’ an Aviation Department official said.

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

Report says Laos has been under communist rule since 1975.

(dpa/NAN)


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