Nearly 3,000 people search for two missing military aircrafts

A total of nearly 3,000 people have been mobilized to seek the rest missing pilot of crashed fighter yet Su-30MK2 and aircraft CASA 212, which has lost contact with nine crew members aboard while searching for the pilot yesterday.

Debris supposed from CASA 212 (Photo: QDND)

According to an official announcement from the National Search and Rescue Committee last night, CASA 212 aircraft No. 8983 lost contact at 12:30 p.m. 44 nautical miles south and southeast off Bach Long Vi Island, the northern city of Hai Phong.

The Vietnam Coast Guard’ High Command this morning said that they have found some debris likely to be from the aircraft south of Bach Long Vy Island. Deputy Minister of National Defense Phan Van Giang who has arrived at the scene where the debris was found to instruct the search operations.

Colonel Le Kiem Toan, brigadier of the Air and Air Defense Force’s Brigade 918, was the main pilot of CASA 212 aircraft.

Right after the incident, the Ministry of National Defense has instructed the High Command of Military Region 3, the Vietnamese Navy High Command, border guard high commands and the Vietnam Coast Guard to implement all measures and deploy high-speed vessels to the area where the aircraft was last contacted.

The ministry also instructed them to inform all fishing boats in the Gulf of Tonkin to attend in the search operation.

On the same day, the National Search and Rescue Committee asked relevant agencies and localities to continue moving the search for the pilot of Su-30MK2 further northwest of the Gulf of Tonkin.

One of Vietnam Marine Police's CASA aircrafts joins in seeking the missing pilot -SGGP

A total of nearly 3,000 people including 1,583 military soldiers and over 1,000 fishermen together with 14 aircrafts, 183 vessels and fishing boats and other means have been mobilized for search efforts.

Naval vessel 886 yesterday afternoon used sonar scanning in the crash site of SU-30MK2 without progress in the search for the missing pilot Tran Quang Khai. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has instructed to raise the total force to look for the missing people.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat has led a delegation from Hanoi to the north central province of Nghe An to assist searching activities.

The Vietnam Coast Guard said they had found an object likely to be the front wheel axle of the fighter aircraft. Researchers have also spotted a yellow object presumed from life jacket or parachute of pilot Tran Quang Khai south southeast of Bach Long Vy Island.

Last night, Minister of National Defense General Ngo Xuan Lich chaired a meeting with the Standing Committee of the Central Military Commission and related sides to debate measures to seek the missing ones and CASA-212 aircraft.

Deputy Minister of National Defense Nguyen Chi Vinh met with Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Hong Xiaoyong to propose Chinese relevant agencies to facilitate Vietnamese planes and vessels’ search operation east of the delimitation line in the Gulf of Tonkin at the ministry’s headquarters.

He suggested China to inform Vietnam of any debris supposed from the missing aircrafts or pilots.

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By staff writers – Translated by Hai Mien

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