Debris of a Myanmar military plane which went missing on Wednesday has been found in the Andaman Sea. The plane was carrying 116 people and it went missing between the southern city of Myeik and Yangon, according to a AFP report. “Communication was lost suddenly at about 1:35 PM (07:05 GMT) when it reached about 20 miles west of Dawei town,” the commander-in-chief’s office said in a statement, adding search and rescue was ongoing. An airport source, who asked not to be named, told AFP the plane was carrying 105 passengers and 11 crew.
“Now they have found pieces of the damaged plane in the sea 136 miles (218 km) away from Dawei city,” said Naing Lin Zaw, a tourism official in Myeik city, adding that the navy was still searching the sea.
An air force source requesting anonymity confirmed a navy search and rescue ship had found pieces of the plane. Navy ships and aircraft had been searching since the afternoon when the plane lost contact with air traffic controllers.Navy ships and aircraft had been searching since the afternoon when the plane lost contact with air traffic controllers.
More than a dozen children were believed to be among the passengers on the plane travelling from the southern city of Myeik to Yangon. “Now they have found pieces of the damaged plane in the sea 136 miles (218 km) away from Dawei city,” said Naing Lin Zaw, a tourism official in Myeik, adding the navy was still searching the sea.
An air force source confirmed to AFP that a navy search and rescue ship had found pieces of the plane in the sea an hour’s flight south of Yangon, Myanmar’s commercial capital. The commander in chief’s office said the plane lost contact at about 1:35 pm (local time) off Myanmar’s southern coast. There was conflicting information about the number of people on board.
Giving an updated figure, the office said 106 passengers were on board — soldiers and family members — along with 14 crew. The air force source said more than a dozen of those on board were children.
Four naval ships and two air force planes were sent to search for the plane, which was flying at an altitude of more than 18,000 feet (5,486 metres).
It is monsoon season in Myanmar but there were no reports of bad weather at the time the plane went missing. The plane was a Y-8F-200 four-engine turboprop, a Chinese-made model still commonly used by Myanmar’s military for transporting cargo.
The army said it was delivered in March last year and had logged 809 flying hours.
(With inputs from AFP)