A day after a Myanmar’s Y-8-200F army plane went missing carrying more than 120 people, the country’s military said on Thursday that it has found bodies and debris in the Andaman Sea. “We have found the plane and some dead bodies this morning about 8.25 AM (0725 IST),” a spokesman for the military’s information team was quoted as saying by AFP.
The Chinese-made transport plane took off from Myeik on Wednesday afternoon carrying 122 soldiers, family members and crew on board. En route to Yangon, the aircraft went missing about 30 minutes after takeoff. “Some were on their way for medical checkups and to attend school,” said a spokesperson from the military’s information team when asked about the identity of the people on board.
According to Reuters, the Myanmar military said that three bodies, including a child, have been found by a navy ship 35 km from the southern coastal town of Launglon. In a statement released on Facebook, the military also added that a plane wheel from the said aircraft has also been found. General Myat Min Oo said the searchers found two life jackets as well.
Nine naval ships, five army aircraft and three helicopters had been searching for the plane which had logged in 809 flying hours ever since it was bought in March 2016. The military also added that the captain of the plane, Lieutenant Colonel Nyein Chan, had more than 3,000 hours of flying experience.
In the recent times, Myanmar’s military has had multiple plane crash incidents. In February 2016, five people were dead after an air force plane burst into flames soon after taking off from the capital Naypyidaw. In June, three army officers were also killed when their Mi-2 helicopter burst into flames after crashing into a hillside in Bago.