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Forty-nine people were killed Wednesday when an aircraft was downed during stormy weather in Laos.
Flight QV301 departed from Vientiane in Laos on Wednesday afternoon before the plane crashed only a few kilometers from its destination, Paske airport, just under two hours later, the Bangkok Post reports. The plane was carrying 44 passengers and five crew members at the time of the crash.
Laotian authorities have reportedly cited “extreme bad weather” as the cause of the plane crash. The stormy weather had been produced by Typhoon Nari as it made its way through Southeast Asia this week, killing dozens of people in both Vietnam and the Philippines.
Unable to make their landing at Paske airport because of the weather, the aircraft crashed into the Mekong River with force that ripped parts of the plane off.
No survivors are believed to have survived the impact.
Thursday, the search began for bodies and the plane’s wreckage in the Mekong. Yakao Lopangkao, director-general of Laos’s Department of Civil Aviation, said in a statement that nine bodies have been recovered from the water so far, reports the Washington Post.
“We haven’t found the plane yet,” he added. “It is underwater. We’re trying to use divers to locate it.”
A few of the victims’ bodies were taken as far as 20km downriver and were found by fisherman on Thursday. Thai divers and local villagers have both volunteered their time to the search effort.
The Bangkok Post reports that the national airline of Laos has identified passengers on the plane from nine different countries.