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Lao Defense Chief Among Plane Crash Victims

  • VOA News

A rescue worker makes his way past the wreckage of an air force plane at its crash site near Nadee village, in Xiang Khouang province in the north of the country, May 17, 2014.

A rescue worker makes his way past the wreckage of an air force plane at its crash site near Nadee village, in Xiang Khouang province in the north of the country, May 17, 2014.

Officials say a Lao military plane carrying about 20 people including high-ranking officials crashed early Saturday in the northern part of Laos.

Deputy Prime Minister Major General Douangchay Phichit, who is also the defense minister, has been confirmed dead in the crash in Xiengkhouang province.
FILE - Laotian Defense Minister, Douangchay Phichit, is seen during a visit to Moscow.

FILE - Laotian Defense Minister, Douangchay Phichit, is seen during a visit to Moscow.

VOA's Lao Service says the mayor of the capital, Vientiane, Soukanh Maharath was also among the dead.

Some reports say at least three people survived the crash, but few details of the deadly incident have been released. The cause of the crash is not known.

Officials say the Russian-built Antonov AN 74-300 was flying a group of officials and others in the communist country to take part in a ceremony marking the liberation of the Plain of Jars from the former Royal Lao government forces.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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