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The bodies of more than half of the passengers aboard the ill-fated military plane that went down over the Andaman Sea last week have been recovered, according to the Office of the Commander-in-Chief, with search and rescue efforts having brought ashore 76 corpses out of the 122 people on the flight.
Seventeen more bodies were recovered as of 11:15am on Monday, bringing the total to 76 since the Chinese-made Y-8 military transport plane crashed on Wednesday. The dead include soldiers and military officers, their family and 14 crew members.
The bodies are being sent to the military hospital in the town of Dawei for examination and identification. As of Sunday, 23 of the deceased had been identified and cremated, according to the Office of the Commander-in-Chief.
Search efforts have been hampered in recent days by unfavourable weather. Naval vessels have been joined by military aircraft and privately owned fishing trawlers in the recovery operation.
The missing aircraft lost contact with air traffic controllers at 1:35pm on Wednesday, some 43 miles (70 kilometres) west of Dawei town, off the coast of Tenasserim Division.
In his first public remarks on the tragedy, military Commander-in-Chief Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing on Saturday suggested that weather may have been a factor in the crash.
A wheel and other debris believed to be from the aircraft were also recovered last week, but the fuselage has yet to be located.