Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Việt Nam People’s Army Senior Lieutenant General Võ Văn Tuấn announces announced the initial outcomes of the search and rescue operations for the SU30 MK2 and CASA 212 aircraft at a press conference yesterday.— VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — The Central Military Commission and the Ministry of National Defence announced the initial outcomes of the search and rescue operations for the SU30 MK2 and CASA 212 aircraft yesterday.
Evidence suggests both aircraft crashed into the sea. All nine crew members of CASA 212 are believed to have perished and recovered bodies are still being identified.
The early evidence also suggests the SU30 MK2 military plane coded 8585, of Regiment 923 under Division 371 of the Air Defence – Air Force Service, had an accident during a training session at sea, above the waters off Nghệ An-Thanh Hóa provinces, 40km to the northeast of Hòn Mát Island.
The two pilots, Senior Lieutenant Colonel Trần Quang Khải and Major Nguyễn Hữu Cường, parachuted and the plane crashed in the sea.
During the search and rescue mission for the SU30 MK2 plane, CASA 212 coded 8983 of Brigade 918 of the Air Defence – Air Force Service, and its nine crew members, lost communications while flying over the water south-southeast of Bạch Long Vĩ Island.
The CASA 212 aircraft went down about 15 nautical miles to the south-southeast of Bạch Long Vỹ Island, 2.7 nautical miles to the west of the Việt Nam-China delimitation line in the Gulf of Tonkin.
Search teams retrieved key parts of the aircraft at a depth of 50-60m, including the body, tail, propeller, and personal items of crew members. They also found bodies at the accident site, which were identified as some of the plane’s crew members.
The General Staff of the Việt Nam People’s Army (VPA) is responsible for directing forces to continue search and recovery of dead crew members and remaining parts of the two aircraft, while ensuring safety for search and rescue teams, in light of the recent bad weather.
Forensic agencies and relevant units are urged to identify bodies and objects found at the accident scene.
After completing the recovery of the remaining parts of the two aircraft, technical agencies will analyse the data and find the causes of the accidents as quickly as possible.
An incident in the cockpit of the SU30-MK2 forced the two pilots to parachute, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Việt Nam People’s Army Senior Lieutenant General Võ Văn Tuấn said at a press conference yesterday.
He cited information from Nguyễn Hữu Cường, the surviving pilot of the military plane, as the reason for the initial conclusion about the cause of the accident.
The cause of the CASA 212 accident is still undetermined, as its black box has yet to be found.
Sen. Lt. Gen. Tuấn told the media that immediately after the accidents, the Central Military Commission and the Defence Ministry mobilised the army, search and rescue forces of the Transport Ministry, the Fisheries Surveillance Force, and civilian fishing boats to search in the waters off Nghệ An-Thanh Hóa provinces and Hải Phòng City.
The Defence Ministry also contacted the Chinese, asking them to facilitate search and rescue activities on the eastern side of the Việt Nam-China delimitation line in the Gulf of Tonkin.
The black box and items related to CASA 212 and Su30-MK2 are being search for so the cause of the accidents can be investigated.
Tuấn attributed the effective search and rescue to the timely directions of Party, State and government leaders and to the instructions of the Central Military Commission and the Defence Ministry - particularly the Defence Minister, the head of the General Department of Politics, and the Chief of the General Staff of the VPA.
He also hailed the synchronous deployment of vehicles and forces for the search and rescue effort, including air and naval forces, coast and border guards, Military Zones 3 and 4, army medical staff, maritime surveillance forces and fishermen’s fishing vessels, under the direction of the Chief of the VPA’s General Staff.
Together they also ensured communications, logistics and technical equipment, he said. The close liaison among the authorities of Nghệ An, Thanh Hóa, Hải Phòng and Quảng Ninh - and international support - also proved effective. — VNS