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Army Cessna on routine patrol plunges in Thai-Myanmar border area

An Army Cessna 182 light aeroplane on a routine air patrol with four officers on-board, on Thursday crashed in a remote area in Mae Hong Son province four kilometres from the Myanmar border.


The fate of the officers onboard was unknown at press time.

The cause of the aircraft’s crash in Muang district – reportedly during “open sky” conditions – is under investigation, said Third Region Army commander Lt-General Vijak Siribansop.

The four officers onboard were identified as two pilots – Lieutenant Nareupol Pookthong and Lieutenant Wiroj Taengkratok – and two officers – Lieutenant Khemarat Doungkaew and Sgt-Major 1st Class Chatchanan Kheunkaew.

A source at the 7th Infantry Regiment’s Special Task Force, which dispatched a helicopter to scout the target area, spotted the crashed aircraft on a mountainous area near Ban Huai Sai Khao in Tambon Huai Pha of Muang district at about 5pm.

Officers were dispatched to the crash site to deliver aid but had not yet reached it as of press time.

The six-seater aeroplane had gone off the radar around 11am in the Thai-Myanmar border area in the province’s Pang Mapha district, prompting the army unit’s search.

An earlier attempt to locate the missing plane also led to a request to the Shan State Army to search their territory in Loi Tai Lang, Myanmar, opposite to the province’s Tambon Pang Mapha.

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