Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force An-74 crash

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Date:
17.05.2014
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The 2014 Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force An-74 crash refers to a crash of a Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force Antonov An-74 that occurred in northern Laos on 17 May, 2014 around 6:30 am local time en route to Xiangkhouang Province. The jet was carrying top officials, who were on their way to attend a ceremony celebrating the 55th anniversary of the second division of the Lao People's Army.

Included in the casualty count was Minister of Defense Douangchay Phichit and Secretariat of the Party Central Committee, Cheuang Sombounkhanh. In addition to the defense minister, the Minister of Public Security, the mayor of Vientiane, the deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs, and other officials were on the plane. Of the fourteen on board at the time of the accident, only three have survived, according to official sources.

Background

The Ukrainian built Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force Antonov An-74TK-300 registered as RDPL-34020 was carrying top officials in transit to attend a ceremony celebrating the 55th anniversary of the second division of the Lao People's Army.  Included in the casualty count was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense Douangchay Phichitand Secretariat of the Party Central Committee, Cheuang Sombounkhanh. In addition to the defense minister, the Minister of Public Security, the mayor of Vientiane, the deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs, and other officials were on the plane.

Crash

At around 6:15, 6:30, or 7:00 local time on the 17 May 2014 local time, 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) or 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) from the destination in Xiang Khouang, the Xieng Khouang Airport, the aircraft crashed in Nadee, Xiang Khouang, 500 kilometres (310 mi) from where it left in Vientiane at the Vientiane-Wattay Airport. It is second deadliest accident in Laos history behind only Laos Airlines flight 301 which crash in October last year.

Passengers

Initial reports suggested that there were fourteen passengers but later reports gave the figure as twenty on board at the time of the accident, only three have survived, according to official sources: Notable passengers included:

  • Soukanh Mahalath, Governor of Vientane.
  • Douangchay Phichit, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense.
  • Thongbanh Sengaphone, Minister of Public Security.
  • Cheuang Sombounkhanh, Secretariat of the Central Party Committee.
  • Pany Yathotou, MP and Speaker (2010–2014).

Although the names of the survivors have not yet been released, a Thai news source said that the co-pilot, a nurse, and another person had survived. The defence ministry permanent secretary in Thailand said that the Defence Minister of Laos and four others had been killed, and a witness also said that the Defence Minister had died, and gave the figure of fourteen deaths.

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Sources: wikipedia.org

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