Head of state and thousands attend funeral of CASA plane's crew

By VnExpress   June 30, 2016 | 12:35 pm GMT+7

Many high-ranking state officials and ruling party’s leader together with thousands of people paid tribute at the funeral of nine CASA plane crew members.

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The funeral commences. Central Military Commission group led by Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong of Vietnam’s Communist Party, and Minister of Defense Ngo Xuan Lich, enter.

President Trang Dai Quang wears black arm band in a sympathizing gesture to the late crew.

President Tran Dai Quang wears a black arm band in a sympathizing gesture to the late crew.

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The panel reads “Deeply sorry for the comrades who lost their lives during fighter jet Su-30MK2 search mission on June 16, 2016.”

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Families and relatives of the late soldiers waiting to thank funeral attendees.

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"This is a huge loss, leaving limitless sorrow; respect for families, relatives of soldiers and Vietnamese people,” wrote Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in the funeral note.

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Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung writes down his condolence. 

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Nine coffins aligned behind the funeral portraits, covered in national flags. Out of nine members, only eight were recovered.

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Soldiers pay tribute to late comrades.

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Seven cups of candles are constantly lit to keep the warmth according to Vietnamese belief.

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“They are our relatives,” said Lieutenant Do Thi Kim Dinh of 918 Brigade, the same one as Colonel Le Kiem Toan, one of nine members on CASA plane that day.

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The bodies will be cremated at Van Dien Cemetery before being buried in their hometowns or living city according to families’ wishes.

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Few people arriving early make it inside the hall to pay tribute the late soldiers. Hundreds still queue outsides.

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The line of people keeps getting longer.

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A student cries while looking at the funeral portraits of the late CASA crew.

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Flowers are loaded onto the trucks.

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Nine funeral cars stand ready outside.

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Obituary is read at 10:30 a.m.

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Funeral portrait and coffin of Colonel Le Kiem Toan leads the way.

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