A Myanmar military plane carrying more than 100 people is believed to have crashed in southern Myanmar.
The Chinese-made Shaanxi Y-8 plane disappeared while flying over sea from the town of Myeik, a city on an island in the Andaman Sea, to Yangon on Wednesday afternoon.
The plane was carrying relatives of soldiers to Yangon for a regular break from the remote Myeik base, as well as 2.4 tons of freight.
The military said among those on board were 15 children, 58 adults and 35 soldiers and officers, according to the statement.
In a statement posted to Facebook, commander-in-chief of the country’s army Min Aung Hlaing said the flight took off from Myeik at 1.06 pm (local time) and contact with it was lost at 1.35 pm, when it was believed to be about 32 kilometres to the west of Dawei, formerly known as Tavoy.
It said Myanmar had received the plane in March last year, and since then it had logged 809 flying hours.
“We don’t know what exactly happened to this plane after the loss of contact,” said Kyaw Kyaw Htey, a civil aviation official at Myeik airport.
He said the weather had been “normal” with good visibility when the plane took off.
Other reports said the weather was bad, with pounding heavy rain in the area where the plane disappeared.
Some 300 to 400 people, including firefighters, medics, emergency and welfare officials, gathered on the shore near the town of Launglon, close to the area where the naval search was concentrated, said Naing Myo Thwin, the chairman of the local funeral association, from the scene.
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