Laos Crash Plane 'Hit Bad Weather'
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A plane carrying 49 passengers and crew that crashed in southern Laos hit bad weather as it came into land, officials in the South East Asian nation said.
The Laos Airlines plane, flying from the capital Vientiane, crashed into the Mekong river on Wednesday near its destination of Pakse.
All 44 passengers and five crew are believed to have died, BBC reported.
Footage of the scene on Thursday showed divers in the Mekong river, pulling out parts of the wreckage.
The passengers and crew came from a total of 10 nations, the airline said.
Seventeen Laos nationals were on board, plus travellers from France, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, Canada, China, Malaysia, Taiwan and the US.
"Upon preparing to land at Pakse Airport the aircraft ran into extreme bad weather conditions and was reportedly crashed into the Mekong river,'' the Laos Ministry of Public Works and Transport said in a statement.
State-run Laos news agency quoted an eyewitness as saying that the plane "appeared to be hit by a strong wind, causing its head to ascend and pushing it away from the airport area".
A senior aviation official from Laos was quoted in other reports as saying the tail end of Typhoon Nari may have been a factor in the crash.