Four bodies recovered as Vietnamese search plane salvage mission continues

By Vo Van Thanh   June 24, 2016 | 04:44 pm GMT+7
Four bodies recovered as Vietnamese search plane salvage mission continues
Divers joins in the search for missing crew members of the sea patrol plane CASA 212. Photo by Vietnam National Defense
Search teams looking for the missing sea patrol plane CASA 212 this morning reported that they have found two more bodies at the location of the aircraft’s supposed crash site, raising the fatality count to four.

The Ministry of Defense said the two bodies were discovered at 6:45 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. 15 nautical miles from Bach Long Vy Island in Hai Phong Province. The bodies had signs indicating that they were two of the nine crew members on the CASA 212.

The plane’s exact location was pinpointed by the search teams yesterday where they initially found two dead bodies. One has been confirmed to be Major Nguyen Van Chinh, according to a VnExpress source. The identities of the others remain unclear.


Debris from CASA 212 is hauled onto a salvage boat. Photo by Vietnam National Defense

Minister of Defense Ngo Xuan Lich earlier urged agencies to accelerate the search for the remaining crew members. Due to likely worsening weather condition, Lich has requested all units to act with caution, prioritizing the absolute safety of the search teams.

Sea patrol plane CASA C-212 Aviocar 400, operated by the Vietnam Coast Guard, was reported missing on June 16 during a search mission for the Su-30MK2 Vietnamese fighter jet that 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.

Airbus, the maker of the sea patrol plane, is currently cooperating with Vietnam to identify the reasons behind the incident. On June 21, the company asked for data from the black box and CASA’s cockpit recordings to be transferred to Airbus’s office in Madrid (Spain) so they can reconstruct the accident for investigation.

Related news:

> CASA 212 crew member found dead at crash site

> Vietnamese search team finds body at CASA 212 plane crash site

> Vietnam Coast Guard homes in on black box of missing CASA plane

> Su-30 fighter and CASA-212 rescuer: the tragedy explained

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