2014 Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force An-74 crash

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2014 Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force An-74 crash
Antonov An-74TK-300D 3.jpg
An Antonov 74TK-300 similar to the accident aircraft
Date 17 May 2014
Summary Under investigation[1]
Site Baan Nadi, Xiangkhouang Province
Fatalities 16
Survivors 1
Aircraft type Antonov 74TK-300
Operator Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force
Registration RDPL-34020
Flight origin Wattay International Airport, Vientiane
Destination Xieng Khouang Airport, Phonsavan

On 17 May 2014, an Antonov An-74 airplane of the Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force crashed in northern Laos while en route to Xiangkhouang Province. The crash occurred around 6:30 am (IC T); 16 people died, including several Laotian statesmen.


The Ukrainian-built Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force Antonov An-74TK-300, registered as RDPL-34020,[2][3][4][5] was carrying top officials in transit to attend a ceremony celebrating the 55th anniversary of the second division of the Lao People's Army.[2] Included in the casualties were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense Douangchay Phichit and Secretariat of the Party Central Committee, Cheuang Sombounkhanh.[6] In addition to the defense minister, the Minister of Public Security, the mayor of Vientiane, the deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs, and other officials were on the plane.


Between 6:15 and 07:00,[5][7][8] local time on 17 May 2014, 1,500 metres (4,900 ft)[8] or 2,000 metres (6,600 ft)[7] from the destination in Xiang Khouang, the Xieng Khouang Airport,[3][8] the aircraft crashed in Nadee,[5] Xiang Khouang, 500 kilometres (310 mi) from where it left in Vientiane[4] at the Vientiane-Wattay Airport.[3] The aircraft was too low on final approach, and its landing gear clipped some trees just short of the runway, resulting in the crash, which was attributed to a technical error.[9]

It is the second deadliest accident in Laos' history, after Lao Airlines Flight 301, which crashed in October 2013.[4]


Initial reports suggested that there were fourteen passengers,[2][6] but later reports gave the figure as twenty on board at the time of the accident,[10] only three were reported to have survived,[4] according to official sources.[2] Once the situation became clearer, the passenger count was given as seventeen[9] and the death toll was given as sixteen, with one survivor after the other two original survivors died from their wounds.[11]

Those killed included:[6][12][13]

Although the names of the survivors have not yet been released,[2] a Thai news source said that the co-pilot, a nurse, and another person had survived.[6] The defence ministry permanent secretary in Thailand said that the Defence Minister of Laos and four others had been killed,[4] and a witness also said that the Defence Minister had died, and gave the figure of fourteen deaths.[7]


The death of "arguably the two most powerful people in the security apparatus" was reported to be a significant blow to the ruling Lao People's Revolutionary Party.[12] After the crash, the ceremony was cancelled,[2] and a three-day period of national mourning was announced.[13][14]


  1. ^ Network News, Australia. "Laos plane crash: Five officials including Laotian defence minister killed as military plane crashes in country's north". ABC News. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Military plane with top officials crashes in northern Laos". RT. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Laos Defence Minister Douangchay Phichit's plane crashes". BBC News. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "Plane crashes in Xiengkhouang province '". KPL. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Lao deputy PM dies in plane crash". Bangkok Post. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "Laos air force plane crashes, defence minister reported dead". Reuters. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Peng, Fu (17 May 2014). "At least five confirmed dead, three survive in air crash in northeastern Laos". Xinhuanet. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Technical Error Behind Laos Plane Crash". New Indian Express. 20 May 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  10. ^ Waldron, Greg (19 May 2014). "Crash of Lao air force An-74 kills 20". Flightglobal. Singapore. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014.  
  11. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Fuller, Thomas (17 May 2014). "Crash in Laos Kills Top Government Officials". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Chaichalearmmongkol, Nopparat (18 May 2014). "Laos Declares Days of Mourning After Plane Crash". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  14. ^ "Lao defence minister, top officials, lie in state after plane crash; investigation underway". Ottawa Citizen. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014.