Lao Leaders Pay Respect For Those Died From The Plane Crash

President Choummaly Sayasone, Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and other high-ranking officials laid wreaths yesterday to pay their respects to the leaders who passed away from the plane crash on Saturday (May, 17).

President Choummaly Sayasone, Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and other high-ranking officials laid wreaths at the Ministry of National Defence to pay their respects to Lieutenant General Douangchay Phichit who passed away in the plane crash on Saturday, May 17 in Xieng Khuang Province.

The wreath-laying ceremony took place at several locations of where the bodies of the leaders were being kept prior to the official cremation today. As of yesterday afternoon, 37 delegations from the Party and government sectors joined the ceremony.

According to the Ministry of National Defence, the Lao airforce AN-74TK-300 aircraft carrying 17 people on a special flight from Vientiane crashed near Xieng Khuang airport on Saturday morning (around 7am local time). There are three survivors and 14 deceased.

Prominent leaders were aboard the plan and were on their way to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the strategic gains made by Battalion II during the Indochina War after it broke through the enemy siege areas on the Plain of Jars in Xieng Khuang province in May 18, 1959.

Among those killed in the crash were the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence, Lieutenant General Douangchay Phichit; Minister of Public Security, Mr Thongbanh Seng-aphone; Head of the Propaganda and Training Board of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee, Mr Cheuang Sombounkhanh and Vientiane Mayor, Mr Soukanh Mahalath.

The body of Lieutenant General Douangchay Phichit is resided at the Ministry of National Defence, while the body of Mr Thongbanh Seng-aphone is resided at the Ministry of Public Security.

The body of Mr Soukanh Mahalath is resided at Vientiane administrative office, with the body of Mr Cheuang Sombounkhanh residing at his house in Khamhoung village in Xaythany district, Vientiane.

The Party Politburos have appointed a committee in charge of organising the funeral and cremation for the leaders who died in the air accident.

The three survivors were transported to a hospital in Vientiane on the day of the accident however, no reports have been made on their conditions so far.

The plane crashed during landing and was around 2km away from Xieng Khuang airport in Nadee village, Paek district, Xieng Khuang province. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Photos taken from the crash site showed that aircraft crashed in a forest area and was severely damage, leaving a large amount of debris on the site.

Source: Vientiane Times

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