Bad weather is being blamed for the crash of a Laos Airlines plane which plunged into the Mekong river in southern Laos on Wednesday (October 17) killing all 49 people on board, among them nationals of 10 countries.

The ATR-72 turboprop plane flying from the capital Vientiane crashed at about 4.10 p.m. (0910 GMT) on Wednesday just eight kms (five miles) short of its destination Pakse, which is near the borders of both Thailand and Cambodia.

A Laos Airlines official, who did not wish to be named, said that 44 passengers and five crew members were on Flight QV301 from the capital, Vientiane, to Pakse in the country's south when it ran into bad weather. Earlier officials said a total of 44 passengers and crew had died in the crash.

She said bad weather as the plane prepared for landing could be a factor in the crash, adding that authorities believe there are no survivors but investigation is ongoing.

A senior aviation official said the tail end of Typhoon Nari may have been a factor. Southern Laos was affected by Typhoon Nari, which hit the region on Tuesday (October 16).

A passenger list from the airline listed the nationalities of 44 people including 17 Lao, five Australians, seven French, five Thais, three Korean, two Vietnamese and one person each from the United States, Canada, China, Malaysia, and Taiwan.

Presented by Adam Justice

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