Thursday, February 11, 2016

Five killed in military plane crash in Nay Pyi Taw

A military plane crashed in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning, killing all five passengers onboard. 

The plane crashed in a field outside of Nay Pyi Taw during a test flight this morning. All 5 personnel on board eventually died. Photo: Swan Ye Htut / The Myanmar Times

The Beechcraft passenger plane burst into flames and crashed shortly after taking off from Nay Pyi Taw’s Ayelar Airport on a test flight. The plane was eventually headed to Namhsan, Shan State, to assist with the aftermath of a fire there, according to an official from the Ministry of Transport. The aircraft, registered as number 4601, was used for emergency flights.

Photo: Mg Myo Thant / Facebook

Five people were said to be on board the aircraft when it crashed south of Kyan Khin village in Lewe township. A major, two captains and one crew member were killed, while a lance corporal was pulled from the wreckage and rushed to the Defence Services General Hospital with severe injuries. He died while undergoing treatment.

The three officers killed were named as Major Aung Kyaw Moe, Captain Aung Paing Soe and Captain Htin Kyaw Soe. The lance corporal was Hla Win Tun.

“The two captains were single. The major was married and living in Yangon. He had a daughter,” U Min Min Tun, an assistant director from the Ministry of Transport, told The Myanmar Times.

The fatal incident occurred at 9:40am, but it took around an hour to put out the flames.

“The plane crashed into a field. Fire engines from Lewe came right away to put out the fire but they couldn’t access the site because of the dykes in the field. Fire engines from the airport also came but could not cross the field. So it took too long to put out the fire,” the assistant director said.


Before emergency crews reached the aircraft, farmers living in Ayelar village tract said they attempted to save the passengers. A villager who spoke to The Myanmar Times on condition of anonymity said he was pulling weeds in his field when the accident occurred. He said he ran to the wreckage and, when he saw the soldiers inside, tried to break the glass with his garden hoe. “At that time they were still alive,” he said, but the glass was too thick to break.

“Then, other villagers arrived there. The aircraft caught fire, so the farmers backed away. The soldiers died in the plane because of suffocation and burning. We didn’t manage to save them, but we did our best,” he said.

Soldiers carry the remains of the deceased from the area. Photo: Pyae Thet Phyo / The Myanmar Times

The villages said it took another 45 minutes for police and fire crews to arrive.

The Office of the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services released a statement saying the reason for the crash is still being investigated.

But the transportation ministry said the incident was related to a circuit board failure.

Last updated: 10:20pm MMT 11 February, 2015.