Lao Airlines Flight 301 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Vientiane to Pakse, Laos. On 16 October 2013, the ATR 72-600 aircraft operating the flight crashed into the Mekong River at Pakse, killing all 49 people on board.
The aircraft involved was an ATR 72-600, registration RDPL-34233, serial number 1071. The aircraft had been delivered to Lao Airlines on 29 March 2013.
The aircraft was operating a domestic scheduled passenger flight from Wattay International Airport, Vientiane to Pakse International Airport, Laos. The flight departed from Vientiane at 14:45 local time (07:45 UTC), and crashed into the Mekong River whilst on approach to Pakse at about 16:00 local time (09:00 UTC).
There were five crew and 44 passengers on board. All 49 people were killed.
The weather was reported to be poor at the time due to the remnants of Typhoon Nari.
The victims were of eleven different nationalities.
Seventeen were Laotian.
Seven of the casualties were French nationals,
five were Thai,
five were Australian,
three were South Korean,
two were Vietnamese,
one was Chinese,
one was Taiwanese,
one was an American and
one was Canadian.
The accident was the deadliest ever to occur on Laotian soil and also the deadliest ever for the airline since it was founded in 1976. It was the first deadly crash on a Lao Airlines flight since October 19, 2000.
Laotian authorities opened an investigation into the accident. The aircraft’s manufacturer ATR and the French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile (BEA) are assisting them. The BEA sent four investigators to Laos.