The location where the CASA212 went missing (Source: QPVN)
Hai Phong (VNA) – A CASA212 aircraft with 9 crewmembers aboard lost communication at 12:30 pm on June 16 while on a mission of searching for a pilot on the missing SU30 MK2 military aircraft.

The CASA212 was dispatched after rescue units received a help signal believed to be from Senior Lieutenant Colonel Tran Quang Khai who is the remaining missing pilot on the SU30 MK2 plane.

After passing Bach Long Vy island district in the Tonkin Gulf by 44 nautical miles, the plane asked for permission to descend but contact was then cut.

Several debris possibly from the CASA212 were found to the southwest of Bach Long Vy island near the delimitation line on the Tonkin Gulf.

Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh also met Chinese Ambassador Hong Xiaoyong late June 16 and asked China to provide all possible support for Vietnamese rescue forces to conduct the search in the east of the delimitation line in the Gulf of Tonkin, as well as any latest relevant information.

Also on June 16, the Vietnam Coast Guard announced an object suspected to be the front axle of the SU30 MK2 had been retrieved.

The SU30 MK2 aircraft with two pilots went missing at 6:50 am of June 14 during a training session in the area of Hon Mat Island, about 40km off the coast of Nghe An’s Vinh city.

One pilot has been rescued by fishing boats and brought ashore safely.

The Ministry of Transport has agreed with the Defence Ministry, the coast guard, naval and border defence forces to extend their search to the central provinces of Ha Tinh, Nghe An and Thanh Hoa.-VNA