May 17 - A Laos Air Force plane with 14 people on board including the defence minister crashes en route to the north of the country. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
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PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
A Laos air force plane with 14 people on board, including the defence minister, has crashed in the north of the Southeast Asian country, a Laos defence ministry source said on Saturday (May17)
Local Lao television showed smouldering debris of aircraft in the forest with rescue workers trying to put out the fire and carrying dead bodies out from the wreckage.
The official, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media, was unable to confirm reports in neighbouring Thailand that the minister had died. Up to three passengers were reported to have survived.
The aircraft crashed while on its way to Xiang Khouang province in the north of the country. The mayor of Vientiane and his wife were also on board, the official told Reuters by telephone. Vientiane is the capital of Laos.
Thailand's Foreign Ministry said it had been informed by Laos' government that the plane was an AN74-300 craft and that it had crashed at 6:15 a.m local time (2315 GMT on Friday).
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