Crashed Military Aircraft Carried 9 Officers Transferring for Medical Treatment

By Tin Htet Paing 8 June 2017

RANGOON—Nine of the 35 military officers onboard the crashed Y-8 military aircraft carrying a total of 122 people on Wednesday were traveling from Tanintharyi Division’s Myeik to commercial capital Rangoon for medical treatment, according to the flight’s passenger manifest released by the military on Thursday afternoon.

The military personnel were being transferred from the 100-bed Myeik military hospital to the 1000-bed Mingalardon military hospital in Rangoon to receive further treatment, military spokesperson Col Myat Min Oo told The Irrawaddy.

According to figures issued by the military, 14 crew members and 108 military staff members and their families, including 15 children, were on board when the welfare flight lost communication with Dawei airbase.

The plane’s captain was Lt-Col Nyein Chan and the co-pilots were Lt-Col Soe Thu Win and Maj Thant Zin Htay, the statement read. Six high-ranking officers including three majors and 29 other military personnel from the coastal region command and Myeik Air Force headquarters were on board, the passenger manifest said.

Map showing the locations of the last communication with the crashed military plane and where bodies and debris were later found. / The Irrawaddy

Navy vessels and local fishing boats in the Andaman Sea found 29 bodies—one male, 20 females and eight children—in the search for the missing Y-8 military plane, according to the latest Facebook statement issued by the military. Bodies and debris of the missing aircraft were found 35 kilometers (22 miles) southwest of Dawei District’s Launglon Township in the Andaman Sea at 8:18 a.m. on Thursday, along with a wheel, lifejackets and luggage, the statement said.

Several Navy ships and aircraft are searching for the Y-8 200 F military transport plane 5820 after contact was lost about 69 kilometers (43 miles) southwest of Tanintharyi Division’s Dawei at 1:35 p.m. on Wednesday.

There were a total of 73 family members of military personnel on the aircraft, who were traveling to return to their hometowns, or for school enrollment.

Commander-in-Chief Gen Khin Aung Myint of the air force, the Navy chief of staff, and the coastal region commander met with family members of those who were on board and provided 700,000 kyats to families for each member that was on board on Thursday in Myeik.

The President’s Office issued a condolence statement on Thursday afternoon that said, “We will continue search and rescue operations and will assist with support [for family members of those onboard].”

The Chinese-made plane was acquired in March 2016 and had a total of 809 flying hours. It was also carrying 2.4 tons of supplies, according to the military statement.

A military helicopter crashed last June in central Burma, killing three personnel on board.

Five military personnel were killed last February after an air force plane crashed in administrative capital Naypyidaw, according to media reports. Two people were killed and 11 injured after a small private plane crashed in central Burma in 2012.