Malaysian killed in Laos crash

PETALING JAYA - A Penangite identified as Angelin Teh is among 49 killed in a Lao Airlines plane crash in Pakse in southern Laos on Wednesday.

Teh's husband Joel Babcock, a United States citizen, also died in the crash.

The Malaysian Embassy in Laos confirmed that a Malaysian named Angelin Teh, 24, was listed in the airline's list of passengers.

According to the embassy, the couple had been staying in Laos for the past three years.

However, Teh was not registered with the embassy and exact details about her are unavailable.

Her occupation is unclear with some citing that she worked in a law firm and others saying that she ran a small-scale fashion business.

Babcock is believed to have taught English in Laos.

Teh's mother Michelle Tan was shocked when she was informed about the incident by Angelin's close friend yesterday morning.

"The Malaysian embassy in Laos is keeping us updated. But until this moment, they have not found her body. There is nothing much we can do at the moment," she said.

The Laotian Public Works and Transport Ministry, which operates Lao Airlines, said 44 passengers and five crew members were on Flight QV301 from the Laotian capital Vientiane to Pakse.

The ATR-72 turboprop plane left at 2.45pm local time and was expected to reach the Pakse airport at 3.55pm.

As the plane was about to land at 4pm, it ran into bad weather and crashed into the Mekong River about 8km from Pakse Airport in Champasek province.

CNN reports cited "wind shear" - a sudden change in wind speed or direction over a short distance - as a possible cause of the crash.

A passenger manifest faxed by the airline listed 44 people from 11 countries and regions: 17 Laotians, seven French, five Australians, five Thais, three Koreans, two Vietnamese and one person each from Malaysia, Canada, China, Taiwan and the United States.