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CASA 212 crewmember’s body identified, more bodies found

Update: June, 24/2016 - 11:41
Major Nguyễn Văn Chính, a crewmember of the ill-fated CASA 212. Việt Nam Navy said there were signs to confirm one of the two bodies retrieved so far was of Major Chính. Photo Việt Nam Defence
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – There is a high chance that one of the two bodies found earlier at sea is of Major Nguyễn Văn Chính, a crewmember of the ill-fated CASA 212 aircraft. 

This was announced by the Navy.

The naval command said last night there may be no need to conduct ADN tests to confirm Chính’s identification as the search forces had already found some personal documents with his name on them.

The body in military uniform, suspected to be of the unfortunate soldier, was found at 3pm yesterday at sea near the Bạch Long Vĩ Islands from where the last signals of the missing CASA 212 surveillance jet, coded 8983, were detected.

Major Nguyễn Văn Chính was the political commissar of the Pilot Level 3 Squadron of the 918 Brigade and is one of the nine missing crewmembers on board the aircraft that went missing on June 16.

Chính’s hometown is in Bình Lục District in Hà Nam Province, some 80 kilometres to the south of Hà Nội.

First images of the missing CASA 212 jet on the seabed of the Tonkin Gulf. Searching forces said they have found more bodies adjacent to the wreckage. — Source: Việt Nam Defence Ministry.

More bodies found

The Việt Nam Army TV channel last night also released the first images of the ill-fated CASA 212, showing the plane’s debris and wreckage lying on the seabed of the Tonkin Gulf.

Forces have located the exact whereabouts of the aircraft at a depth of between 50 and 60 metres under the sea, 15 nautical miles south-southeast of the Bạch Long Vỹ Islands of Hải Phòng.

Several pieces of debris, including a propeller and fuselage with the jet’s code number 8983, were found in the area.

On June 16, the CASA 212 was dispatched with nine crewmembers on board after rescue units received a help signal believed to be from the fighter jet SU30-MK2, which crashed during a training session two days earlier.

Search forces looking for the SU30-MK2 yesterday afternoon also discovered aircraft debris at latitudes between 18 degrees 57 minutes and 19 degrees North and longitudes between 106 degrees 3 minutes and 106 degrees 4 minutes East in the waters of central Nghệ An Province. The position was determined to be the place where the aircraft crashed.

The SU30-MK2 aircraft and its two pilots went missing at 6:50 am on June 14 near Hòn Mát Island, some 40km off the coast of the central province of Nghệ An’s Vinh City. One pilot was rescued by fishing boats and brought ashore safely. The body of Senior Lieutenant Colonel Trần Quang Khải, the other pilot, was found on June 17 and brought ashore on June 18. – VNS


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