Author Topic: Search after Laos crash lacks manpower, equipment  (Read 447 times)

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Offline EC

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Search after Laos crash lacks manpower, equipment
« on: October 18, 2013, 03:42:31 AM »
Via AP:

PAKSE, Laos (AP) — Exasperated officials in Laos said Friday they lack the equipment and manpower to locate the fuselage and more than 30 bodies lost when a plane crashed and disappeared into the Mekong River two days earlier.

Lao Airlines flight QV301 crashed Wednesday as it prepared to land in stormy weather at Pakse Airport in southern Laos. All 49 people on board, more than half of whom were foreigners, are presumed dead.

As of Friday morning only 17 bodies had been found, none of which could be immediately identified, said Lao Transport Minister Sommad Pholsena.

"It's very difficult to find (bodies) under water," the transport minister told reporters at the crash site, where the rescue operation was stalled Friday morning as teams in boats waited for instructions and the arrival of more help.

Divers at the site said they lacked sonar and other equipment that could help locate the black box and fuselage of the ATR-72 aircraft which is believed to have crashed on the riverbank before skidding into the water and sinking.

The rescue operation was also complicated by fast-moving currents in the muddy river and very poor visibility. Thai media reported that the river was about 8 meters (26 feet) deep in the area of the crash.

"If we could find (the plane) we would have found it already," the openly frustrated minister told reporters. "We're working very hard with our Thai friends."

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