Burmese military plane missing: Parts found in sea after aircraft with more than 100 on board disappears, army says

Around a dozen children were on the flight, which lost communication between Myeik and Yangon

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The Independent Online

Parts of a Burmese military plane have been found in the sea after it disappeared with more than 100 people on board.

A spokesperson for the chief of the country’s army said the aircraft went missing during a domestic flight on Wednesday.

“Communication was lost suddenly at about 1.35pm (8.05 BST) when it reached about 20 miles west of Dawei town,” read a statement posted on Facebook.

Search and rescue operations involving ships and aircraft were ongoing in the Andaman Sea.

Officials said pieces of the aircraft, which was carrying more than a dozen children, had been found in the sea.

The plane left the southern coastal town of Myeik in the early afternoon and was bound for Yangon, the largest city in Burma.

It was declared missing after losing contact with air traffic control.

General Myat Min Oo said the Chinese-made Y-8 aircraft was carrying 90 passengers – mostly families of military personnel – and 14 crew members. 

A source told AFP the weather in the region was fine at the time of the incident.

“We think it was a technical failure,” he added. 

Another Burmese military plane crashed shortly after taking off from Naypyidaw airport in February last year.

Four military personnel were killed and one was seriously injured after the small air force propeller plane went down.

Burma, a former British colony that was under military rule until 2011, is in the grip of a number of sectarian conflicts including in Kachin, Rakhine state and Kokang.

The government headed by former political prisoner Aung San Suu Sky has denied supporting ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims, provoking an ongoing refugee crisis.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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