Defence minister among dead in Laos plane crash

This image taken from video provided by Lao National TV, shows the wreckage of a Lao air force plane. Credit: Lao National TV via AP Video

A Laos air force plane carrying senior government officials has crashed, killing at least five people including the country's defence minister, Thai officials said.

It crashed in a forest area in Xiangkhoung province, near one of Laos' major archaeological sites, the Plain of Jars.

Among those confirmed killed in the crash are defence minister Douangchay Phichit and his wife, said an official.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known.