Deputy Defence Minister Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Defence Minister Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh came to the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi on July 6 to thank China for assisting Vietnam in the search and rescue work in the incident involving CASA-212 aircraft.

On behalf of the Central Military Commission, the Ministry of National Defence, the Vietnam People’s Army and families of the deceased in the aircraft accident, the Deputy Defence Minister expressed his thanks to China’s Party, State and authorised agencies, along with Chinese Ambassador Hong Xiaoyong, for their cooperation and help in the search for CASA-212 and its crewmembers.

He said he hopes that in the time ahead, the Vietnamese and Chinese defence ministries will continue expanding search and rescue cooperation on the basis of international law, thus reinforcing overall relations between the two Parties, States and armies.

For his part, Ambassador Hong Xiaoyong offered condolences to the bereaved families and praised Vietnam’s search and rescue efforts.

He said immediately after receiving information about the accident, the Chinese Embassy reported it to the country’s Party and State leaders, and the two sides had worked together to devise search and rescue cooperation measures.

He promised to convey the Vietnamese Defence Ministry’s acknowledgement to leaders of China’s Party, State and relevant agencies as soon as possible.

Aircraft CASA-212, coded 8983, of Air Force Brigade 918 lost communication at 12:30 pm near Bach Long Vi Island in the Tonkin Gulf on June 16 while searching for a missing pilot of jet fighter SU 30MK2, which had an accident during a training session on early June 14.

The wreckage of CASA-212 was discovered at 5 nautical miles south-southeast of Bach Long Vi Island near the northern city of Hai Phong.

The bodies of eight out of the nine crewmembers of the CASA-212 have been retrieved. Efforts still continue to search for the remaining one.-VNA