Bodies, aircraft debris found in search for missing plane in Myanmar

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A still image taken from video released on June 7, 2017 shows the photograph of a Y-8-200 F military aircraft. Facebook: Cincds Myanmar/Handout/via Reuters

Bodies and aircraft debris were found 35 kilometres from the southern coastal town of Launglon after a military transport plane carrying 122 people crashed following its take-off from an airbase in the southern part of the country. Bodies of two adults and a child were found, the military revealed in a statement on its official Facebook page on Thursday.

A Shaanxi Y-8 plane went missing while flying over the sea from Myeik to Yangon on Wednesday. Relatives of soldiers were on board the plane, with 58 adults and 15 children. The plane was also carrying 35 soldiers and officers.

According to a statement posted on the Facebook page of the commander of the military Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the contact to the plane was lost about 30 minutes into the flight. Kyaw Kyaw Htey, a civil aviation official at Myeik airport, said they did not know what happened to the plane after they lost contact. It was believed the plane was about 32 kilometres to the west of Dawei when the contact was gone.

It is monsoon season in Myanmar, but Htey said weather had been "normal" and visibility was good when the plane took off. There are reports indicating the weather was bad and there was heavy rain in the area where the plane went missing.

Some 300 to 400 medics, firefighters, emergency and welfare officials gathered on the shore near the town of Launglon. Naing Myo Thwin, the chairman of the local funeral association, told Reuters via phone they have not seen any trace of the plane yet. The identities of the bodies found were not immediately made available.

The search continues

Sky News reports Myanmar's military added more ships and aircraft for the plane search. General Myat Min Oo said the military has begun a sea and air search with naval ships and military aircraft. Nine naval ships, five army aircraft and three helicopters were added to assist on the search on Thursday.

Local police officer Aung Win said they are moving to other areas along the shore to look for the missing plane. He also confirmed that a huge number of people flocked to the beach.

The Y-8 is being used for commercial and military operations. The aircraft is also utilised as an air ambulance.

It was bought in March 2016, with 809 flying hours in total. According to the military, it was carrying 2.4 tons of supplies. The plane was reportedly Chinese-made.

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