A Lao Airlines ATR 72-600 crashed in southern Laos near the Champasak provincial capital of Pakse on Wednesday. According to a statement issued by ATR, the airplane took off from the capital city Vientiane and crashed into the Mekong river. Reports from the official Laos news agency indicate the airplane hit the water some five miles short of its destination, Pakse International Airport.
ATR identified the airplane, operating as flight QV301, as MSN 1701, delivered from the Toulouse production line in March. It also confirmed that the flight carried 44 passengers and five crewmembers.
According to ATR, Lao Airlines officials reported that the aircraft ran into “extreme” weather conditions. “There [was] no news of survivors at this time,” said ATR, quoting the officials. Laotian authorities have yet to release an official death toll.
“In line with the ICAO [International Civil Aviation Organization] Annex 13 convention, ATR will provide full assistance [to] the French Bureau d’Enquêtes et Analyses [BEA], [the] safety investigation authority representing the country of the aircraft manufacturer,” said the manufacturer.