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Laos Crash Plane Partially Salvaged

A part of the Lao Airlines plane that crashed into the Mekong River last week was retrieved on Tuesday, but the black box from the ill-fated aircraft has still not been found.

Lao divers and rescue workers hauled the 10-metre part of the stricken ATR 72-600 from the bottom of the river at 3.30pm and painted the airline logo and plane number in black.

The plane, which was found about 400 metres from the crash site, was transported by truck to Pakse airport for inspection.

Boonmexay Khanthayongthong, chief diver from the team that recovered the part of the plane, said they did not find the black box or bodies in the aircraft, but only found luggage.

Lao Airlines flight QV301 from Vientiane plunged into the river before trying to land at the airport in southern Laos on Wednesday 16 Oct. All 44 passengers including five Thai nationals and five crew members were killed in the accident.

Sitthideth Duangsitthi, director-general of the airlines’ planning and cooperation department, told The Vientiane Times that Lao Airlines will pay 20 million kip (78,800 baht) to the family of each of the victims, plus an additional US$5,000 (155,000 baht) from its London-based insurance company Willis based.

The initial payment is intended to cover funeral expenses. Mr Sitthideth did not rule out further compensation, but could not provide details.

Four representatives from the insurance company arrived in Laos on Thursday to assess the situation, he added.

Source: Bangkok Post & Vientiane Times