Sultan sends condolence message to Laos PM

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday consented to send a condolence message to Prime Minister of Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Thongsing Thammavong, following the air crash in southern Laos Wednesday.

In His Majesty’s message to the Prime Minister of Laos, the ruler said he was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic plane crash, which caused the loss of lives in southern Laos.

His Majesty expressed his deepest condolences to the Prime Minister and to the government and people of Laos, especially to the bereaved families of those affected by the tragedy.

The crash of the Lao Airlines plane into the Mekong River that killed 49 people was probably caused by Tropical Storm Nari, airline officials told dpa Thursday.

Lao Airlines Flight QV 301 from Laos’ capital, Vientiane, to the southern city of Pakse crashed Wednesday after flying into turbulence, they said.

As of Thursday, Lao and Thai rescue teams had yet to find the aircraft in the river because of murky water and strong currents, Lao TV reported.

All 44 passengers and five crew members were presumed dead.

Lao authorities on Thursday allowed a 65-member rescue team, including divers from neighbouring Thailand, to assist in the search for bodies.

The plane’s documentation listed the passengers on board as: 17 Laotians, seven French nationals, five Australians, five Thais, three South Koreans, two Vietnamese, one American, one Chinese, one Canadian, one Myanmar national, and one person from Taiwan. - Borneo Bulletin (17 October 2013)