China / World

Myanmar army plane crashes, 104 aboard

(China Daily) Updated: 2017-06-08 07:32

YANGON - Debris from a missing Myanmar military plane carrying 104 people was found in the Andaman Sea late on Wednesday, a local official and an air force source said.

"Now they have found pieces of the damaged plane in the sea 136 miles (218 kilometers) 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.

With a load of 2.4 tons of welfare goods, the aircraft took off from Myeik air base at 1:06 pm local time in Yangon. But when the aircraft reached a height of 5,400 meters at about 1:35 pm, it lost contact with the ground at a location 32 kilometers west of Dawei and went missing.

Four naval ships and two air force planes have been sent to search for the plane, which was flying between the southern city of Myeik and Yangon.

Dawei is a port town an hour's flight south of Yangon, Myanmar's commercial capital.

The office said 90 passengers - servicemen from Myeik air force command and family members - were on board as well as 14 crew members.

It said the plane was delivered in March last year and had 809 flying hours.

"We think it was a technical failure. Weather is fine there," an airport source said, asking not to be named.

Investigators will know more after the black box is found.

Checkered history

Myanmar's military fleet has a checkered recent history of plane crashes.

All five crew died when an air force plane burst into flames soon after taking off from the capital Naypyidaw in February last year.

Three army officers were killed in June when their Mi-2 helicopter crashed into a hillside and burst into flames in south-central Bago.

Commercial jets have also suffered frequent incidents.

The worst in recent years was in 2012 when an Air Bagan jet crash-landed in thick fog and burst into flames short of the runway at Heho airport, killing one passenger and a motorcyclist on the ground.

Afp - Xinhua - Reuters

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