An incident in the cockpit of the SU30-MK2 forced two pilots to parachute, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army Senior Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan said at a press conference on June 24.
Senior Lieutenant Vo Van Tuan speaks at the press conference on June 24th, 2016. (Photo: VNA)
He cited information from the surviving pilot of the plane Nguyen Huu Cuong as reason for the initial conclusion on the cause of the accident.
Meanwhile, the cause of the CASA212 accident is still undetermined as its black box is yet to be found.
Sen. Lt. Gen. Tuan told the media that immediately after the accidents, the Central Military Commission and the Defence Ministry sent troops, search and rescue forces of the Transport Ministry and the Fisheries Surveillance Force, and civilian fishing boats to conduct a search in the waters off Nghe An-Thanh Hoa provinces and Hai Phong City.
The Defence Ministry also contacted the Chinese side, asking them to facilitate the search and rescue activities in the eastern side of the Vietnam-China delimitation line in the Gulf of Tonkin.
According to the officer, as of now one pilot of the SU30-MK2, Nguyen Huu Cuong, has been rescued and the body of the other pilot, Tran Quang Khai has been found.
Regarding the CASA-212 and nine crew members on board, the site where the aircraft crashed has been located 2.7 nautical miles to the west of the Vietnam-China delimitation line in the Gulf of Tonkin and 15 nautical miles to the south-southeast of Bach Long Vi Island.
At the location, rescue forces have retrieved major parts of the plane, including the body, the tail, engine, propeller, technical components and crew members’ personal belongings.
The black box and items related to CASA-212 and Su30-MK2 are being search for, whereby the cause of the accidents will be examined.
Senior Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan attributed the effective search and rescue to timely directions of the Party, State and government leaders, drastic instructions of the Central Military Commission and the Defence Ministry, particularly the Defence Minister, head of the General Department of Politics and Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA).
He also hailed the synchronous deployment of vehicles and forces for the effort, including the air and naval forces, coast and border guards, Military Zones 3 and 4, army medical staff, maritime surveillance forces and fishermen’s fishing vessels, under the direction of the Chief of the VPA’s General Staff.
They also ensured communications, logistics and technical equipment, he said, adding that close liaison among the authorities of Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh and international support have also proved effective.