Search for Vietnamese missing aircraft and pilots faces adverse weather

By Vo Van Thanh, Pham Huong   June 18, 2016 | 10:12 pm GMT+7

Vietnam’s military and civil forces have met with big waves and other adverse weather conditions at sea while searching for the two missing aircraft and 9 military personnel.

“The search operations have been expanded to almost the entire area of the Gulf of Tonkin. Currently we have not found anything new,” Do Duc Hoa, Party Chief of Hai Phong City’s Bach Long Vy District said on Saturday morning.

Lieutenant-General Phan Van Giang, Chief of General Staff, (second, L) with the search and rescue teams. Photo by the Ministry of National Defense

Lieutenant-General Phan Van Giang, Chief of General Staff, (second, L) with the search and rescue teams. Photo by the Ministry of National Defense

The Third Military Region, the People’s Navy, the Border Guard, Coast Guard, and fishing boats have been mobilized in the search and rescue efforts. They are determined to search the area again and again, and will work urgently but carefully.

“Everyone wants to have results early but the search zone is large while the weather at sea is very complicated. The history of airplane accidents in the world shows that it is not easy to find missing planes in adverse weather conditions at sea in one or two days,” a source from the Ministry of National Defense said.

On June 14, Vietnam's fighter jet Su-30MK2 crashed offshore the central province of Nghe An. The jet had two pilots on board, one of whom, Major Nguyen Huu Cuong, was rescued but the other, Lieutenant Colonel Tran Quang Khai, 43, was found dead at sea and has been brought ashore. The CASA-212-40 with nine people on board went missing on June 16 while searching for the Su-30MK2.

The search and rescue team have recovered in the Gulf of Tonkin debris belonging to the CASA-212 plane which crashed on June 16 while searching for the missing Su-30 fighter pilot Tran Quang Khai.

China has deployed the NANHAIJIU 101 rescue ship to help with the search.

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has said from the Steering Committee for Search and Rescue of the CASA plane in Hai Phong: "We have to find the crew members at all costs."

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