PM prompts efforts to seek missing servicemen in suspected helicopter crash

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has sent a dispatch asking the Ministry of National Defense to use all resources and measures to seek three servicemen who were aboard an EC130T2 helicopter that went missing yesterday morning during a training flight in the southern city of Vung Tau.

An EC130 helicopter (Photo: Quan Doi Nhan Dan)

He prompted the ministry to clarify reasons of the incident and review works to ensure flight safety. The National Committee for Search and Rescue should work with the ministry in search operations, the PM asked.
 
According to authorized agencies in Vung Tau city, the missing helicopter--EC130T2--belongs to the Flight Training Center of Vietnam Helicopter Corporation.

It has been suspected to crash in Bach Van canyon, Dinh Mountain, Tan Thanh district. The area has the altitude of 500 meters and locates 80 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City.

The helicopter took off at 7:40 a.m. on October 18 and lost contact an hour later.

The foot of Dinh mountain where the helicopter is suspected to crash in Vung Tau city (Photo: SGGP)

The three missing include instructor Duong Le Minh and trainees Dang Binh Duy and Nguyen Van Tung.

Right after the accident, local citizens, authorities and military forces have started searching for the missing ones. However access difficulties in Dinh mountain with many canyons and rock-tops and unfavorable weather have obstructed their efforts.

It takes at least 3-4 hours to travel from the root to the top of the mountain in normal weather conditions.

Mr. Tran Van Cu, commander of the Military Steering Committee in Tan Thanh district said that rescue workers had temporarily halted the search at 7 p.m. last night because of raining and fog.

Search and rescue activities will continue today.

By staff writers – Translated by Hai Mien

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