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Black box from crashed Myanmar army plane retrieved

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FILE PHOTO: Rescue workers in an helicopter search for a crashed military plane outside Launglon township, Myanmar June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
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YANGON (Reuters) – Search teams retrieved the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from a Myanmarese army plane that crashed into the Andaman Sea in early June with 122 soldiers, family members and crew on board, the Myanmar military said on Sunday.

The Chinese-made Y-8-200F transport plane disappeared on June 7, while flying at 18,000 feet (5,485 metres) 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.

Since then, the military has recovered 92 bodies during its search operations and has found the personal belongings of some passengers and crew, as well as several pieces of debris.

The military said on its official Facebook page on Sunday that cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder – both crucial to explaining what went wrong and known as the “black box” – were found in the sea off Myanmar’s southern coast.

The search for the remaining bodies and the fuselage will continue amid Myanmar’s monsoon season, it added.

Some bodies pulled from the sea have been cremated as relatives and friends mourn 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.

There have been several recent aircraft accidents in Myanmar, involving both civilian and military planes.

A military helicopter crashed in June 2016, killing three military personnel. Five were killed in February 2016 when an air force aircraft crashed in the capital Naypyitaw, media reports said.

(Reporting By Wa Lone and Yimou Lee; Editing by Edmund Blair)


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