Saturday 16 December 2017

Recovery teams and local fisherman find 10 bodies in sea search for missing plane

This file photo taken on August 5, 2015 shows a Myanmar Air Force Shaanxi Y-8 transport aircraft , similar to the aircraft that went missing between the southern city of Myeik and Yangon on June 7, 2017. AFP PHOTO / Ye Aung ThuYE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images
This file photo taken on August 5, 2015 shows a Myanmar Air Force Shaanxi Y-8 transport aircraft , similar to the aircraft that went missing between the southern city of Myeik and Yangon on June 7, 2017. AFP PHOTO / Ye Aung ThuYE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A navy ship and local fishermen have found bodies and aircraft parts in the sea off Burma, a day after a military plane carrying 120 people disappeared, a military spokesman said.

The Chinese-made Y-8 turboprop aircraft had left Myeik, also known as Mergui, heading for Yangon (Rangoon) on a route which would have taken it over the Andaman Sea. It was raining, but not heavily, at the time.

General Myat Min Oo said local fishermen had found seven bodies after a navy ship found two life jackets, three bodies and a tyre that was part of an aircraft wheel.

The bodies were of a man, five women and four children. The wreckage was found in the sea west of the town of Laung Lone.

Nine naval ships, five army aircraft and three helicopters were joined in the search by local fishermen, the spokesman said.

The plane was carrying 106 passengers - mostly families of military personnel - and 14 crew members. Fifteen of the passengers were children. It is not unusual for such flights to carry civilians to offset transportation costs for military families stationed in the somewhat remote south.

An announcement posted on the Facebook page of the commander of the military, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, said contact was lost when the plane was believed to be about 20 miles (32km) to the west of Dawei, formerly known as Tavoy.

The military said Burma took delivery of the Y-8 plane in March last year, and since then it had logged 809 flying hours.

The area is about 440 miles (700km) north of the last primary radar contact with Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished on a flight from Malaysia to Beijing on March 8 2014, with 239 people on board.

That plane is believed to have flown far off course and crashed into a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean.

Press Association

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