Update: Former UNL Student Among Laos Plane Crash Victims

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email
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A plane crash in Laos killed all 49 people aboard a Lao Airlines jet Wednesday afternoon, including former University of Nebraska student Joel Babcock.

The 25-year-old Babcock worked for a private equity fund targeting southeast Asia markets. The Rev. Glen Wapelhorst of Christ is King Community Church in Norfolk says Babcock's wife Angelin, who was from Mayalsia, also died in the crash. The couple was married in February 2012.

Wapelhorst said Thursday that he has spoken to most of Babcock's immediate family. He says Babcock's parents and a brother were flying to Laos.

Wapelhorst says Babcock was born in Norfolk, but moved from Nebraska to Laos with his family at age 9. He returned to the states and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 2007 until 2010 before moving back to Laos.

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said 44 passengers and five crew members were aboard. The flight from the capital Vientiane was preparing to land in Pakse when it ran into bad weather and crashed into the Mekong River, five miles from the airport.

Babcock's aunt told WOWT 6 News on Friday that a memorial service will be held in Omaha in early November. A specific date has not yet been set.

The plane was carrying passengers from 11 countries, including 17 Lao, seven French, five Australians, five Thais, three Koreans, two Vietnamese and one person each from Canada, China, Malaysia, Taiwan and the United States.

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