A military plane crashed early Saturday, local time, in northern Laos, killing five top Laotian military and government leaders.
Laos Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Douangchay Phichit died in the crash along with Pany Yathortou, the president of the National Assembly of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Bangkok Post and the Phuket Wan website reported.
Other Laotian leaders reported killed were Public Security Minister Thongbanh Sengaphone, Vientiane governor Soukanh Mahalath and Cheuang Sombounkhanh, secretariat of the Party Central Committee and chairman of the Propaganda Training Committee, the Bangkok newspaper said.
Vientiane is Laos' capital city.
There were conflicting reports as to how many were on the plane; as many as 20 people were on board. Three survivors were reported.
The crash occurred about 10 a.m. local time, as the Laos Air Force plane headed to Xiangkhouang Province for an official ceremony.
It doesn't appear that weather was a factor, although there had been rain in the area Friday night, local time, AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Matt Rinde said.
"Visibility was good at 10 miles. There were clouds in the area," Rinde said.