THE wreckage of a Myanmar military transport plane carrying more than 100 passengers has been found in the Andaman Sea.
Gen. Meat Min Oo said the Chinese-made Y-8 turboprop aircraft was carrying 90 passengers — mostly families of military personnel — and 14 crew members when it went missing Wednesday afternoon.
“The military plane went missing and lost contact after it took off from Myeik, and now the military has started a sea and air search with naval ships and military aircraft and is preparing for rescue operations,” he said.
The aircraft has reportably since been found, with wreckage spotted off the coast near Dawei.
He added it was raining at the time, but not heavily.
Myeik, also known as Mergui, is a city in southeastern Myanmar on the Andaman coast. Much of the plane’s route would have been over the Andaman Sea.
An announcement posted on the Facebook page of the commander of the military, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, said the flight took off from Myeik at 1:06pm and contact with it was lost at 1:35pm, when it was last seen on radar about 32 kilometres to the west of Dawei, formerly known as Tavoy.
“Four naval ships and two military aircraft have been searching for the plane since 2:00pm up until now,” the announcement said.
In a statement posted to Facebook, commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing said the Shaanxi Y-8 transport disappeared from radar screens at around 1.06pm local time while flying at 18,000 feet.
The plane left the southern coastal town of Myeik on Wednesday afternoon but it lost contact about 32km west of the town of Dawei and has been declared missing, the military said.
Reports state the number on board was 105 passengers and 11 crew.
An air and sea search had been launched over the Andaman Sea, it said.