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Premier sends condolences over Lao plane crash

Updated: May 21,2014 2:47 PM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang has extended a message of condolence to his Lao counterpart, Thongsing Thammavong, over the deaths of several senior Lao officials in a plane crash.

A military aircraft carrying the officials crashed in Laos’ northeastern province of Xieng Khouang on May 17, killing 16 people. Only one person survived.

Among those confirmed dead were Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Douangchay Phichit, Minister of Public Security Thongbanh Sengaphone, Mayor of Vientiane Soukanh Mahalath, and Secretariat of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party’s Central Committee and Head of the Propaganda Training Committee Cheuang Sombounkhanh.

In his message sent on May 19, Li said the four comrades were important leaders of Laos, and had made contributions to the country’s cause of innovation and opening up, as well as the China-Laos relations of friendly cooperation.

Their accidental deaths are a heavy loss not only to Laos’ cause of innovation and opening up, but also to the cause of China-Laos friendship, he said.

On behalf of the Chinese government and people, Li expressed his profound condolences and offered sincere sympathies to their families.