Abbot among 13 killed in Pyin Oo Lwin military plane crash

A Myanmar military plane carrying 14 people crashed in Pyin Oo Lwin on June 10, 2021. Photo: Twitter/@soezeya
A Myanmar military plane carrying 14 people crashed in Pyin Oo Lwin on June 10, 2021. Photo: Twitter/@soezeya

Thirteen out of 14 passengers, including a respected religious figure, were killed during a military plane crash near the Aneesa Khan Emergency Power Controls compound in Pyin Oo Lwin, Mandalay Division today. 

The military-owned Beechcraft 1900D left the capital Naypyidaw at 7am to transport passengers who were going to attend the inauguration ceremony of the Maha Wisuthara Zay Kone Monastery in Kyauk Pya Do village in Pyin Oo Lwin.

State media Myawaddy reported that the plane crashed about 1,000 feet west of the Pyin Oo Lwin steel plant near the airport. The plane reportedly missed its landing mark and crashed due to bad weather at around 8am. 

“The weather here is just normal rainfall. It’s not too bad,” a resident told local media outlet Myanmar Now.

A total of 14 passengers were on board the plane when it crashed. Twelve of the passengers, consisting of Zay Kone Monk Dr Bhaddanta Kawisara and two other monks, six military officers, two women and one other man, were killed at the scene. Two people who survived the crash were taken to Pyin Oo Lwin Military Hospital, but one has died. 

Coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing notably met with Dr Bhaddanta Kawisara to seek the monk’s blessing on Feb. 2, a day after the military staged a coup on the basis of alleged vote rigging by the National League for Democracy (NLD) government during the 2020 election.

“The abbot’s body will be taken back to his monastery in Naypyidaw. Officials are now working to bring it back. He was over 80 years old and has been worshiped by the generals for generations,” a student of the monk from Naypyidaw told local media.

Five of the military officers who died in the crash have been identified as Major Moe Htet Kyaw, Major Zaw Htoo, Captain Myint Soe, Captain Soe Hein, and Sergeant La Min Win Thein.

In 2018, an 11-year-old boy was killed when two military fighter jets crashed in Minbu Township’s Serbuk creek in Magway Division. In 2017, a military aircraft Shaanxi Y-8F-200 (Sanshi Wy8) crashed in Dawei Township, killing 14 crew members on board and 108 passengers.

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