Myanmar army plane wreckage caught in fishermen’s net

YANGON, 16 June 2017: 

A civilian fishing boat found part of the tail section from a Myanmarese army plane that crashed into the Andaman Sea last week with 122 soldiers, family members and crew on board, the Myanmar military said yesterday.

The military has so far recovered 90 bodies during its search operations and has found the personal belongings of some passengers and crew, as well as several pieces of debris.

The Chinese-made Y-8-200F transport plane disappeared early in the afternoon on June 7, while flying at 18,000 feet (5,485m) on a weekly flight from several southern coastal towns to Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon. The cause of the crash has yet to be determined.

The military said on its official Facebook page that the tail section had the number Y-8 5820 painted on it and was found by a civilian fishing ship at the depth of 35m, tangled in its fishing net.

The search for the remaining bodies and the fuselage continues amid the heavy rains and high seas Myanmar’s monsoon season. Some of the bodies pulled from the sea have been cremated as relatives and friends mourned the victims in the coastal town of Dawei.

State-owned China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corp, the manufacturer of the plane, has said it would assist Myanmar authorities fully in the investigation into the crash.

Aircraft accidents, involving both civilian and military planes, are not uncommon in Myanmar.

A military helicopter crashed last June, killing three military personnel. Five were killed in February last year when an air force aircraft crashed in the capital, Naypyitaw, media reports said.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported six crewmen were reported missing after an oil tanker was believed to have exploded and capsized at 4.6 nautical miles off Tanjung Pengelih near Pengerang, early yesterday.

All the missing crewmen were Indonesians identified as Akhmad Faharuddin, 35; Muhamad Heri Hernanda, 28; Raden Abdur Rahem, 31; Rendy Alamanda,28; Sulkifli, 39; and Yohanis Sumari, 35.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency deputy director-general (operations) rear admiral Datuk Mohd Taha Ibrahim said the tanker, MT Putri Sea, was laden with crude oil and was registered at the Port of Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

“The ship is 46.4m long and has six crewmen of Indonesian nationals aged between 28 and 39,” he said in a statement.

He said the MMEA received a notification about the missing oil tanker from the Singapore Police Coast Guard at about 5am after the agent failed to contact the ship.

“A Penggalang 15 boat from Tanjung Sedili Maritime District was deployed to run a check and arrived at the location at 6.15 am, but no ship was sighted.” However, Mohd Taha said there were signs of oil spill around the area.

The search and rescue operation to find the missing tanker and its crewmen was launched at 12.30pm involving Penggalang 15 boat from Tanjung Sedili, Al-Nilam ship from Marine Department and two boats from Johor Port, he added.

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