|A delegation of the Party Central Committee's Military Commission led by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (second left) yesterday pay tribute to the soldiers who died when their military helicopter crashed on Monday morning. — VNA/VNS Photo Doan Tan
HA NOI (VNS) — A solemn memorial service was held at the National Funeral Hall yesterday for the 18 officers and soldiers who died in a helicopter crash during a parachute-training mission in the outskirts of Ha Noi on Monday.
Party General Secretary and Secretary of the Party Central Committee's Military Commission Nguyen Phu Trong attended the service and extended his deepest sympathy to families of the fallen. Former Party General Secretary Le Kha Phieu, Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh, President of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front Nguyen Thien Nhan and Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai were among those in attendance.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung, former President Tran Duc Luong, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Secretary of the Ha Noi Party Committee Pham Quang Nghi sent wreaths of flowers. Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Thanh, Secretary of the Party Committee and Commissar of the Air Defence-Air Force Service, delivered a funeral oration highlighting the victims' loyalty to the Party and people as well as their determination to fulfill their tasks.
On July 7, the Russian-made MI-171 helicopter with 21 people on board lost contact and crashed in Hoa Lac village, Binh Yen commune, Thach That district at 7:46 am, only 16 minutes after taking off from Hoa Lac Airport.
The accident claimed the lives of 18 people, two of whom died at the hospital. Three injured soldiers are now being treated at Le Huu Trac National Institute of Burns. In recognition of their sacrifice, Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan on Thursday signed decisions to posthumously confer Feat Orders, first, second and third class. — VNS