Sydney family of 4 among Laos plane crash victims
SYDNEY (AP) — A Sydney family of four and an Australian aid worker and his father were among the victims of a plane crash in Laos that is believed to have killed all 49 people onboard.
Relatives released a photograph of 39-year-old tax consultant Gavin Rhodes, his 35-year-old wife, Phoumalaysy Rhodes, and their children, Jadesuda, aged 3, and 17-month-old Manfred. A passenger manifest from Lao Airlines identified Jadesuda Rhodes as Lao.
But the airline later confirmed that all four family members were Australian.
The other two Australian victims were Michael Creighton, 42, an aid worker based in the Lao capital, Vientiane, and his 71-year-old father, Gordon Bruce Creighton, from the New South Wales town of Glen Innes, a family statement said.
The Lao government said 49 people were on the plane that crashed in stormy weather Wednesday while heading from Vientiane to Pakse in southern Laos, and that there was no hope of finding any survivors.
Michael Creighton was an operations manager at Norwegian People’s Aid’s mine action program and lived in Laos with his fiancee, Melanie Fuller, who was not on the plane.
“I have lost the love of my life, my heart, my soul, my future, my children, my world and myself,” Fuller posted on her Facebook page. “For everyone wondering that is the loss I will live with forever. xxxx xxxx”
Michael Creighton was a former member of the Australian Defence Force and later worked for the United Nations. He spent the past 20 years doing humanitarian work in countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Switzerland and Cambodia.
Gordon Creighton, a retired teacher, was visiting his son in Laos.
“We have lost a father, a husband, a son, a brother, a fiance and a best mate in one tragic circumstance and are trying to come to terms with our loss,” the family said in the statement.