Myanmar Military Plane with 104 Aboard Goes Missing

A military transport plane with more than 100 people on board went missing Wednesday on a flight from southern Myanmar to Yangon, a military spokesman said.

The Chinese-made Y-8 transport plane left the coastal town of Myeik at 1:06 p.m local time heading north to Myanmar's largest city of Yangon. It lost contact while flying over the Andaman sea, about 20 miles west of the town of Dawei, the military and civil aviation officials said.

"Communication was lost suddenly at about 1:35pm (07:05 GMT) when it reached about 20 miles (32km) west of Dawei town," it said.

Myanmar military plane.

"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.

Civil aviation authorities initially said there were 105 people onboard. The military later said those on board included 106 soldiers and family members and 14 aircraft staff. The maximum capacity of the aircraft is 200 people, said a military officer.

Kyaw Kyaw Htey said the weather had been "normal" with good visibility when the plane took off.

The military launched the search soon after the plane went missing, mobilizing six navy ships and three military planes.

"We think it was a technical failure. Weather is fine there," an airport source told AFP, asking not to be named, adding there was no news of the plane so far.