|Lao Airline ATR72-600. Photo courtesy ATR.|
Airbus joint-venture subsidiary ATR (Aerei da Trasporto Regionale or Avions de transport régional) suffered the first fatal crash of the ATR 72-600 aircraft it manufactures.
The airframer confirmed that an ATR 72-600 operated by Lao Airlines as flight QV301 from capital Vientiane to Pakse crashed at around 16:00 (09:00 UTC) near Pakse (Laos).
All 44 passengers and 5 crew members on board perished.
The aircraft, registered RDPL-34233, was MSN (Manufacturing Serial Number) 1071, was delivered from the production line in March 2013.
At this time, the circumstances of the accident are still to be determined. Official sources of Lao Airlines declared that “the aircraft ran into extreme bad weather conditions and was reportedly crashed into the Mekong river. There were no news of survivors at this time”.
The Laos’ Authorities will lead the investigation. In line with the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) Annex 13 convention, ATR will provide full assistance and the French Bureau d’Enquêtes et Analyses (BEA), safety investigation authority representing the country of the aircraft manufacturer will join the investigation.
The ATR 72-600 is a 68-to-74-seat twin turboprop engine aircraft which is the most recent variant of the ATR72-500 being operated around the world, including India;s Jet Airways group.
For more information on the accident, visit avherald.