The Myanmar military aircraft that went missing with 120 people on board was found late Wednesday night in the Andaman Sea. The missing Myanmar plane had lost contact with air traffic controllers approximately 30 minutes after takeoff. The aircraft carried 106 passengers and 14 crew members when it disappeared on Wednesday afternoon. The passengers included more than a dozen children, soldiers, and military family members.
A tourism official, Naing Lin Zaw, confirmed that the missing Myanmar plane was found near the area of Dawei city.
“Now they have found pieces of the damaged plane in the sea 136 miles (218 km) away from Dawei city.”
According to Al Jazeera, another Air Force source that pieces of the missing Myanmar military plane were found by a Navy search-and-rescue ship in the Andaman Sea merely an hour’s flight south of Yangon, which was their destination.
Currently, it is monsoon season in Myanmar, but although it was raining at the time that the plane went missing, there were no bad reports of weather. A source confirmed that they presently believe the reason the plane crashed was due to technical problems.
“We think it was a technical failure. Weather is fine there.”
The Myanmar military transport plane went missing with 120 people on board en route from southern Myanmar to Yangon. The initial fears were correct in that the military aircraft may have crashed in the Andaman Sea since the route passes over this stretch of ocean.
The turboprop aircraft was initially said to have been carrying 90 passengers, but the number on board has since been corrected. Most of the 106 passengers on board were family members of military personnel. Since the military stations are in a remote area of the south, it is not unusual for the aircraft to carry civilian family members in an effort to minimize transportation costs for military families.
A spokesperson for the missing military transport plane, General Myat Min Oo, said that at the time of the flight’s disappearance it was raining, but not heavily. Gen. Myat Min Oo also said that they were preparing to launch rescue operations.
“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.”
The place of departure, Myeik, is a city along the Andaman coast of southeastern Myanmar. Myeik is also known as Mergui.
According to the Associated Press, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the commander of the military, posted an announcement on Facebook. The announcement confirmed that the Myanmar plane took off from Myeik at 1:06 p.m. Contact with the plane was lost at 1:35 p.m., and it is believed that the aircraft was about 32 kilometers (20 miles) west of Dawei, formerly known as Tavoy. The military announcement also confirmed official details about the missing plane. The Y-8 plane was given to the Myanmar military in March of 2016, and since then, the missing plane had logged 809 flying hours.
The office of commander Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing made a second announcement on Wednesday night. They reported that six Navy ships and three military aircraft were searching for the missing Myanmar military plane.
However, only four naval ships and two air force planes were dispatched. The Air Force planes flew at an altitude of more than 5,486 meters (18,000 feet).
On March 8, 2014, the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 also went missing. The last point of primary radar contact with Flight 370 was about 700 kilometers (440 miles) north of the Myanmar Dawei area. The Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappeared with 249 people aboard. It is now believed that the missing plane flew far off course and crashed in the Indian Ocean.
[Featured Image by Viktor Klyushin/AP Images]