Thai defense minister meeting. U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta
(AP) — Thai official says Lao air force plane carrying defense minister has crashed in Laos.
BANGKOK (AP) — A Laos air force plane believed to be carrying 20 people including the country’s defense minister crashed on Saturday, Thailand’s Foreign Ministry said.
There was no immediate word on casualties, said the Foreign Ministry spokesman, Sek Wannamethee.
He said he was informed of the crash by authorities in neighboring Laos.
He did not immediately have any other details.
In October, a Lao Airlines ATR-72 turboprop crashed during a heavy storm as it approached Pakse Airport in southern Laos, killing all 49 people on board.
AceNewsServices – SEATAC – May 02 – The body of a Tacoma man whose plane was shot down over Laos returned home this week, 45 years after he went missing during the Vietnam War.
The family of U.S. Air Force pilot Capt. Douglas Ferguson and the military never stopped looking after he
was declared missing in action in 1969.
At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Thursday, he received a hero’s welcome with an honour guard, a water-cannon salute from the Port of Seattle Fire Department and a flag presentation, KING-TV reported.
“It was more than I could have imagined,” said his sister, Sue Scott, who lives in Michigan. “It was just beautiful, and I think it honoured him in such a noble way.”
Scott’s mission has been that no one forgets Ferguson, who received a Silver Star for extracting two pilots under enemy fire.
“At that time I said to myself I cannot live my life raising my young sons without looking for my brother,” Scott said. “That’s when I made the commitment to bring him home one way or another.”
Ferguson’s remains were recovered at the crash site in Laos.
The U.S military’s Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii helped identify his remains. Ferguson will be buried at Mountain View Memorial Park in Lakewood, near his parents.
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