BANGKOK: Investigators have detected a signal from a black box recorder of a Lao Airlines plane which plunged into the Mekong River killing all 49 people on board, officials said yesterday.
The airline said the bodies of 43 of the victims had been recovered from the swollen river in Laos.
The turboprop ATR-72 went down in stormy weather last Wednesday near Pakse airport in Champasak province, sinking to the bottom of the river.
More than half of the passengers and crew were foreigners from some 10 countries.
Laos authorities said investigators detected a signal from a black box flight data recorder, which may hold clues to the cause of the crash, but their efforts to reach it were being hampered by strong currents and poor visibility.
“We are 80 percent confident about the location of the black box. It is about 400 metres away from the crash site,” Yakua Lopankao, director general of the country’s department of civil aviation said. AFP