• Short Summary

    EXPLOSIONS WHICH WRECKED PART OF VIENTIANE'S MILITARY AIRPORT AND DESTROYED 10 AIRCRAFT WERE CAUSED BY A SHORT CIRCUIT ACCIDENTALLY SETTING-OFF AN AIRCRAFT'S MACHINE GUN.

  • Description

    EXPLOSIONS WHICH WRECKED PART OF VIENTIANE'S MILITARY AIRPORT AND DESTROYED 10 AIRCRAFT WERE CAUSED BY A SHORT CIRCUIT ACCIDENTALLY SETTING-OFF AN AIRCRAFT'S MACHINE GUN. A BULLET STRUCK A FUEL TANK WHICH EXPLODED AND, IN TURN, CAUSED BOMBS LOADED ABOARD THE AIRCRAFT TO BLOW-UP.

    THE 10 AIRCRAFT DESTROYED WERE ALL T-28 PISTON-ENGINED FIGHTER-BOMBERS AND COUNTED FOR HALF THE STRENGTH OF THE ROYAL LAOTIAN AIR FORCE. THE PLANES HAD BEEN SUPPLIED BY THE UNITED STATES, AND WERE BEING USED IN DAILY STRIKES AGAINST THE LEFT-WING PATHET LAO, IN NORTHERN AND CENTRAL LAOS.

    MILITARY PERSONNEL ON THE AIRFIELD RACED FOR COVER AS THE MACHINE-GUN BEGAN FIRING. AS THEY GROUCHED BEHIND COVER THE CHAIN OF EXPLOSIONS STARTED AND THEY WERE UTTERLY HELPLESS AS THE AIRCRAFT EXPLODED AND BURNED. FIREFIGHTING UNITS, TOO, HAD TO MOVE CAUTIOUSLY AS AN AMMUNITION STORE CAUGHT FIRE AND CASES OF BULLETS AND CARTRIDGES EXPLODED FOR 90 MINUTES.

    APART FROM THE T-28'S DESTROYED, ONE HELICOPTER WAS SEVERELY DAMAGED AND TWO OTHERS PARTLY DAMAGED. ALL THAT REMAINED OF THE AIRCRAFT WAS THEIR CHARGED RADIAL ENGINES - THE AIRFRAMES AND EQUIPMENT HAD BEEN SCATTERED AS FINE PIECES OF METAL OVER AN AREA OF 400 SQUARE YARDS.

    AS SOON AS THE FIRES HAD BEEN BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL, WORK BEGAN ON REPAIRING THE TARMAC. HOWEVER, IT SEEM UNLIKELY TO BE USED FOR OPERATIONS UNTIL REPLACEMENTS ARE FOUND FOR THE LOST AIRCRAFT.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA4P9PKFP5C0O60C7PR51ZSAGWY
    Media URN:
    VLVA4P9PKFP5C0O60C7PR51ZSAGWY
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    26/01/1965
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:18:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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