PAKSE, Laos, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Lao Minister of Public Works and Transport Sommad Pholsena told Xinhua on Friday that the compensation for victims of Lao Airlines crash was underway.
"We pledge to pay appropriate compensation for the victims. We send our deep condolence to families of victims. Laos will do its best to search for the bodies of the victims," Pholsena said at the crash site in Pakse.
According to Lao Director of Civil Aviation Yakao Lopangkao, 30 bodies of 49 people aboard Lao Airlines flight QV301 have been recovered so far, with 20 of them identified.
The Lao minister said the Lao Airlines is currently working with insurance company on compensation.
Right after hearing about the accident, Pholsena drove 700 kilometers from the capital Vientiane to Pakse.
"We face many difficulties in search and rescue work as the accident site is in the Mekong river with strong flow. We are still searching for the main wreck of the airplane," Pholsena said.
According to the minister, the ATR 72-600 aircraft, purchased from France, has recorded 758 flight hours since it was put into service in March this year.
"A working team from French aircraft manufacturer has arrived in Laos to participate in searching for the black box. We also invited experts from Thailand, Australia and France to help with DNA identification," Pholsena said.
At present, the bodies of 30 victims have been taken to Chond De temple in Pakse for identification.
One victim from China's Yunnan province has been identified by family through jewelry and clothes, while another Chinese victim came from Taiwan.
The bodies of a 17-month-old child and three-year-old sister from Australia have been also found.
Among the 44 passengers aboard, there were 17 Laotians, seven French, five Australians, five Thai, three Koreans, two Vietnamese, and one each from the United States, Malaysia, Canada, China and China's Taiwan, said the Lao Airlines.
Flight QV301 with 44 passengers and five crew on board crashed into the Mekong, two kilometers from its destination of Pakse International Airport. The aircraft was soon found totally submerged at a location where road access was impossible.
The plane took off from Vientiane at 2:45 p.m. local time (0745 GMT) on Wednesday and was due to arrive in Pakse at 3:55 p.m.(0855 GMT).
According to Lao Airlines President Somphone Douangdara, the captain of the plane was an experienced pilot from Cambodia and that freak weather condition was to blame for the crash.