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The PTT has confirmed that it will take responsibility to care for the family members of its deceased employees who were killed in the horrific Lao Airlines plane crash in the Mekong River on October 16, Mr. Yanyong Apanan, Mr. Niphon Mengsri and and Mr. Virathep Vivavong.
Assistant President for Oil Business of the PTT, Mr. Chavalit Panthong, expressed his condolences to the affected family members of the plane crash victims. He reported that the 3 employees on the plan were on a business trip for the conglomerate to explore new business ventures in setting up new gas stations and tank farms in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
Of the six Australians a family of four was killed, Sydney tax agent Gavin Rhodes his wife Lea, three year old daughter Jadesuda and seventeen month old son Manfred. Bomb disposal expert Michael Creighton also perished, he had been working in Laos for almost a year for the Norwegian People’s Aid mine action program.
Mr. Chavalit has affirmed that PTT will take full responsibility of the matter – in addition to the already existing employee compensation benefits the victims would receive in the case of death or permanent incapacity.
The crash killed all 49 people on board that came from eleven different countries. Rescuers in fishing boats pulled bodies from the muddy Mekong River and backpacks, two broken aircraft propellers and passports were among the debris scattered on the riverbank where the turboprop plane left deep skid marks in the ground before disappearing into the water. Some of the bodies were found by fishermen as far as twenty kilometers away from the crash site and thirty scuba divers were sent in from Thailand to recover the bodies.
State-run Lao Airlines released an updated list of the 44 passengers’ nationalities on Thursday. It said the flight included 16 Lao nationals, seven French, six Australians, five Thais, three Koreans, two Vietnamese and one person each from Canada, China, Malaysia, Taiwan and the United States.