Thai rescuers suspend search for Lao air crash victims

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UBON RATCHATHANI, Oct 22 – Strong currents impeded rescuers from finding more victims from the Lao Airlines plane crash in the Mekong River, but 42 bodies have been found.

Seven bodies were believed to be inside aircraft debris in the riverbed, about 200-300 metres from the crash site.

Prasop Sarasamak, deputy chief of Ubon Ratchathani health centre, said the Thai forensic team identified the latest body found yesterday as that of Veekit Busravutanusorn, a Thai passenger.

A forensic test will be conducted to confirm the verification, he said. Two Thai victims were earlier retrieved from the crash site.

There were five Thai passengers on board the ill-fated flight.

The Thai rescue team will return to Thailand today while some 20 forensic officials would continue working on identity verifications in Laos.

The Lao Airlines turboprop plane, carrying 49 passengers and crew members, plunged into the Mekong River, just eight kilometres before arriving Pakse airport in southern Laos, opposite Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani province, last Wednesday.