Rescuers battled hazardous conditions yesterday in the search for bodies from a Lao Airlines plane which plunged into the Mekong River with 49 people on board, more than half of them foreigners.
Please join us on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/bangkokpostlearning
Divers from a Thai rescue team search for bodies after a Lao Airlines plane crashed into the Mekong river near Pakse town, Laos on October 17, 2013. (AFP/Pornchai Kittwongsakul)
The Bangkok Post is reporting this morning that 14 more bodies have been recovered bringing the total to 30. You can read the full story here: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/375305/rescuers-recover-14-more-bodies-from-lao-plane-crash
16:20: The Sydney Morning Herald has just reported that the Lao Airlines pilot was told by air traffic control to change course to avoid strong winds just before the crash. He did but was unable to escape the winds. The pilot, a Cambodian, had over 30 years flying experience, the report said. Some of the bodies retrieved so far were found 20km from the crash site because of the strong river currents
Rescuers hunt for air crash dead
16 bodies recovered so far from Mekong depths
AGENCIES AND BANGKOK POST
PAKSE, LAOS : Rescuers battled hazardous conditions yesterday in the search for bodies from a Lao Airlines plane which plunged into the Mekong River with 49 people on board more than half of them foreigners.
All passengers and crew – from a dozen countries – were presumed dead after the turboprop ATR-72 came down in stormy weather on Wednesday, sinking to the bottom of the swollen waters.
As rescuers scoured the river for the submerged plane, a crane perched on a floating platform in the middle of the Mekong was on standby to try to winch up the aircraft.
About 10 boats of varying sizes plied the fast-flowing waters and divers from a Thai rescue team were on the scene to assist
"It's difficult to dive because there is a strong current and it's dangerous. So I think it's 50/50 that we will find something," said Thai rescue diver Aniwat Plaeng-ngaan, 20.
Lao authorities yesterday allowed more than 100 rescue workers and divers from Thai private relief organisations, naval and police forces to assist with the search for bodies. Five Thai nationals were on board the plane.
As of 4.05pm yesterday (the same time in Thailand), 16 bodies had been found, the Thai Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Info website reported.
Retrieved bodies of the victims will also be sent to Sapphasitthiprasong Hospital in Ubon Ratchathani for identification Lao authorities also requested body bags from the Thai hospital to handle bodies.
A Thai Tsunami Victim Identification team will travel to Ubon Ratchathani and Pakse today at the request of Lao authorities and the Australian embassy in Bangkok to help identify victims
This picture taken on February 25, 2011 shows a Lao Airline ATR-72 500 aircraft on the tarmac of Luang Prabang's airport, northern Laos. (AFP)
Crowds of local people, monks and security personnel watched from the banks. Some recounted seeing the plane in trouble before it came down.
"I heard a boom! A sound like a bomb going off. There was smoke and flames before it crashed," said village chief Buasorn Kornthong, 37.
Some debris was seen floating along the river and suitcases were wedged in mud on the riverbank
The flight from the capital Vientiane was carrying 44 passengers and five crew including 28 foreigners, when it crashed near Pakse airport in Champasak province, according to officials.
Some of those killed were taken to a Chinese-run mortuary in Pakse town, which is a hub for tourists travelling to some of the more remote areas in southern Laos.
Three bodies draped in blue plastic sheets were seen in the building, which was guarded by 10 police, some armed who turned away onlookers
"They are foreigners from the crash," staff at the centre said, adding that their nationalities were unknown.
Lao Airlines said the aircraft hit "extreme" bad weather while witnesses described seeing the aircraft buffeted by strong winds.
"The plane was about to land but appeared to be hit by a strong gust causing its head to ascend and pushing it away from the airport area and out of reach of the air traffic control radar " state-run Laos news agency KPL quoted a witness as saying.
According to a passenger list from the airline, there were 16 Lao, seven French travellers, six Australians, five Thais, three South Koreans, two Vietnamese, and one national each from the US, Canada, Malaysia, China and Taiwan.
Cambodia's civil aviation office said the pilot was one of its nationals and had "many years" of flying experience.
Thailand's national oil and gas conglomerate PTT Plc, confirmed three of the passengers on board – two Thais and one Lao national – were its employees who were assigned to inspect oil retailing facilities in Pakse.
"We want to express condolences for the loss of our invaluable human resources in this accident and we will take good care of their families," said Chavalit Punthong, executive vice-president for oil retail marketing.
Flight QV301 set off from Vientiane on time at 2.45pm on Wednesday and was supposed to arrive in Pakse just over an hour later.
French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR said the twin-engine turboprop aircraft was new and had been delivered in March.
Learn from listening
Click "play" to listen to (Updated) Lao Airlines crash: Hunt for bodies continues and "Download" to keep this file for educational purpose.
air traffic control: the ground-based personnel and equipment concerned with controlling and monitoring air traffic within a particular area. - การควบคุมการจราจรทางอากาศ
armed: carrying a weapon - ติดอาวุธ
ascend: to go up - ขึ้นไป
assist: to help - ช่วย
authority: a person who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
buffet: to knock or push somebody/something roughly from side to side - พัดกระหน่ำ, โหมกระหน่ำ
capital: the most important town or city of a country, usually where the central government operates from - เมืองหลวง
civil aviation: non-military aviation - การบินพลเรือน
conditions: the circumstances or situation in which people live, work or do things - เหตุการณ์, สภาพการ, สถานการณ์
condolences: sympathy that you feel for somebody when a person in their family or that they know well has died; an expression of this sympathy - การแสดงความเสียใจต่อผู้อื่น
conglomerate: a large company formed by joining together different firms - กลุ่มบริษัทในเครือ
course: the direction, route or path that a boat, ship, storm, etc. travels - เส้นทาง, แนวทาง, วิถีทาง
crane: a tall machine used for lifting or moving heavy objects and building tall buildings - ปั้นจั่นยกของหนัก
crew: the people who work on a ship, aircraft, etc. - ลูกเรือ
current: a strong movement of water in one direction - กระแสน้ำ
debris: broken pieces that are left when something large has been destroyed - เศษ ซากปรักหักพัง ซากสิ่งของที่ถูกทำลาย
depths: a place that is very far or deep inside an area or very far away - ส่วนที่ลึกที่สุด
drape: to put something such as cloth or a piece of clothing loosely over something - ประดับด้วยผ้าคลุม
embassy: a group of officials who represent their government in a foreign country - สถานทูต
emergency: an unexpected situation involving danger in which immediate action is necessary - เหตุฉุกเฉิน
employee: someone who is paid regularly to work for a person or an organisation - ลูกจ้าง
extreme: much more severe or serious than usual - ที่รุนแรงที่สุด
facility: a building used for a particular purpose - โรงงาน, สถานบริการ, สิ่งก่อสร้าง, สิ่งอำนวยความสะดวก
flames: the brightly burning gases that you see coming from a fire - เปลวไฟ, เปลวเพลิง
float: to cause to move slowly in the air or on water - ลอย
gust: a sudden strong increase in the amount and speed of wind that is blowing - ลมพัดแรงทันที
hazardous: dangerous, especially to people’s health or safety - ที่เป็นอันตราย
hub: the central and most important part of a particular place or activity - จุดศูนย์กลาง, จุดรวม
human resources: people's skills and abilities, seen as something a company, an organisation, etc. can make use of - กำลังคน, ทรัพยากรมนุษย์
identification: the process of finding out what or who someone is - การหาเอกลักษณ์,การชี้ตัว
inspect: to look at something carefully - ตรวจสอบ, ตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด
invaluable: extremely useful or valuable - ซึ่งประมาณค่ามิได้, ซึ่งหาค่ามิได้
local: in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น
manufacturer: a person or company that manufactures a product - ผู้ผลิต
mortuary: a place where a dead body is kept - ห้องเก็บศพ, ที่บรรจุศพ
national: a citizen of a particular country - ประชาชน
nationality: the official right to belong to a particular country - สัญชาติ,เชื้อชาติ, ชนชาติ
on board: on a ship, aircraft or vehicle - บนหรือใน (เรือ, รถ, เครื่องบินหรือพาหนะอื่น)
on standby: ready for use - เตรียมพร้อม, สำรอง
onlookers: people who watch something that is happening in a public place but are not involved in it - ผู้ดูเหตุการณ์
perch on: to sit on - เกาะบน
personnel: the people who are employed in a company, organization or one of the armed forces - บุคลากร, เจ้าหน้าที่, พนักงาน
platform: a structure built in/above the sea - แท่น
plunge: to fall quickly from a high position - ดิ่งลงมาจากท้องฟ้า
ply: to make a regular journey over a particular area or route - เดินสาย วิ่งไปมา
presume: to suppose that something is true, although you do not have actual proof - เชื่อว่าเป็นจริง, ทึกทักว่าเป็นจริง
private: involving groups, businesses or industries that are not owned or controlled by the government - เอกชน
quote: to repeat the words that someone else has said or written - ยกคำพูดมา
radar: a system that uses radio waves to find the position and movement of objects, for example planes and ships, when they cannot be seen - เรดาร์, อุปกรณ์ตรวจจับวัตถุเคลื่อนที่
recount: to describe how something happened; to tell a story - เล่า, บรรยาย
recover: to get something back that has been lost or stolen - ได้กลับคืนมา
relief: help; assistance - การช่วยให้พ้นภัย
remote: far away from other cities, towns, or people - ที่ห่างไกล
rescue: saving a person or animal from a dangerous or unpleasant situation - การช่วยชีวิต
retail: to sell directly to the public for their own use - ขายปลีก
retrieve: to recover; to get something back, especially something that is not easy to find - ได้กลับคืนมา
riverbank: the land at the side of a river - ฝั่งแม่น้ำ, ตลิ่ง
scene: site; a place where something happens or happened - สถานที่เกิดเหตุ
scour: to search a place or document thoroughly for something - ค้นหา, ตรวจหา
search: to look somewhere carefully in order to find something - ค้นหา
security: protection; systems providing for safety from attack, harm, or damage - ระบบรักษาความปลอดภัย
sheet: a thin flat piece of paper, metal, plastic, glass etc - สิ่งที่เป็นแผ่นแบน (เช่น แผ่นกระดาษ, แผ่นเหล็ก, แผ่นแก้ว)
sink: to (cause something or someone to) go down below the surface or to the bottom of a liquid or soft substance (past: sank) - จม
submerged: under water - จมน้ำ อยู่ใต้น้ำ
suitcase: a case with flat sides and a handle, used for carrying clothes, etc. when you are travelling - กระเป๋าเดินทาง
swollen: larger or fuller than normal - ขยายใหญ่,พองตัว,บวม
turboprop: a gas turbine engine (an engine that receives its power from a wheel turned by gas pressure) which turns a propeller - ใบพัด) เครื่องยนต์ที่ต่อกับใบพัดเครื่องบิน
victim: someone who has been affected by a bad situation, such as a disaster, illness or an accident - เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
wedge: to put or squeeze something tightly into a narrow space, so that it cannot move easily - บีบอัด
winch: to lift people or things using a piece of equipment that uses a rope or chain - ยกขึ้นด้วยเครื่องกว้าน, เครื่องฉุดดึงหรือยกของหนักshaft
witness: a person who sees something happen - ผู้ที่เห็นเหตุการณ์
Latest stories in this category:
- Thailand's dilemma
- Protests: "Final push" not yet final
- What will happen next in Thai politics? (from the editorial pages)
- Protests: Marching day, PM dissolves parliament
- Protests: “Final battle” starts tomorrow
- A big language challenge
- Chiang Khong bridge to open December 11th
- Rotating house to catch sun & wind: Made in Chiang Rai