Myanmar rescuers have recovered the bodies of about half of the 122 people who were on board a military plane that went missing after it crashed into the Andaman Sea last week, the army said on Monday. The Chinese-made Y-8-200F transport plane crashed into the sea last Wednesday when it was carrying 122 soldiers, family members and crew on a weekly flight from several coastal towns to Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon. The number of bodies retrieved so far rose to 62 on Monday as the hunt for the plane stretched into a sixth day, the military said on its official Facebook page. Nine children were among those found.
While the cause of the incident has yet to be confirmed, Myanmar’s Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing said on Sunday there was “a very big cloud” near the plane crash site, according to his official Facebook page. He did not elaborate. “The crashed plane was expected to be found soon as it crashed in the country’s territory and some evidences were collected,” he said. Myanmar authorities had rejected offers of help from several countries including China, the state-run newspaper Global New Light of Myanmar said on Sunday.
Some bodies pulled from the waters off Myanmar’s southern coast were cremated last week as relatives and friends mourned the identified victims in the coastal town of Dawei. Aircraft accidents, involving both civilian and military planes, are not uncommon in the Southeast Asian country. 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.