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Military transport plane disappears during flight over Burma

A military transport plane with 120 people on board has gone missing during a flight in southern Burma.

There are fears the Chinese-made Y-8 turboprop aircraft, which was flying to Rangoon, may have crashed into the ocean as its route would have taken it over the Andaman Sea.

Burmese military spokesman General Myat Min Oo said the plane was carrying 106 passengers - mostly families of military personnel - and 14 crew when it went missing on Wednesday afternoon.

"The military plane went missing and lost contact after it took off from Myeik, and now the military has started a sea and air search with naval ships and military aircraft and is preparing for rescue operations," he said.

It was raining at the time, but not heavily, he added.

Myeik, also known as Mergui, is a city in south-eastern Burma on the Andaman coast.

An announcement posted on the Facebook page of the commander of the military, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, said the flight took off from Myeik at 1.06pm local time and contact with it was lost at 1.35pm, when it was believed to be about 20 miles to the west of Dawei, formerly known as Tavoy.

It said Burma had received the plane in March last year, and since then it had logged 809 flying hours.

In a second announcement, the commander's office said six navy ships and three military aircraft are searching for the missing plane.

The original search and rescue team, which started operations at 2pm, comprised four ships and two aircraft.

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