Over a thousand people join search for missing Vietnamese fighter pilot

By Hai Binh, Duc Hung   June 16, 2016 | 02:28 pm GMT+7

More than 1,500 people and 182 vehicles from both military and civilian forces are searching for a missing pilot and his crashed fighter jet off the coast of central Vietnam, according to the Ministry of National Defense.

Lieutenant Colonel Tran Quang Khai, one of the two pilots on board the missing jet, is still unaccounted for. His co-pilot Major Nguyen Huu Cuong was rescued by a fishing boat on June 15, a day after the plane went down.  

The search zone has been expanded from the waters off the coast of the central province of Ha Tinh to the northern province of Thai Binh. A special device used to detect the jet's black box has also been deployed.

One of the helicopters on duty. Photo by VnExpress/Hai Binh

One of the helicopters involved in the search. Photo by VnExpress/Hai Binh

Search teams are using three military helicopeters, two transport aircraft and dozens of navy, marine police, border guards and fishing vessels.

The teams worked overnight on Wednesday, according to Dinh Viet Hong, vice chairman of Nghe An's People’s Committee and head of the provincial search and rescue team.

In a meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc urged authorities to make every effort to find the missing pilot.

Vietnam People's Air Defense - Air Force lost contact with the fighter jet flying offshore Nghe An on Tuesday morning. The jet departed from Tho Xuan Airport in Thanh Hoa Province for routine training but disappeared from radar at 7:29 a.m the same day.

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