Ship searches for CASA 212 (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Rescue forces found several bodies identified as crewmembers of the crashed rescue aircraft CASA 212 as of 4pm of June 23.

They determined the position of the aircraft, coded 8983, at a depth of between 50-60 metres under the sea, 15 nautical miles south-southeast of Bach Long Vi island of northern Hai Phong city.

Several pieces of debris, including propeller and fuselage with numbers 8983, were found around the scene.

On June 16, the CASA 212 with nine crewmembers on board was dispatched after rescue units received a help signal believed to be from Senior Lieutenant Colonel Tran Quang Khai, who was the missing pilot aboard fighter jet SU30-MK2 that went down during a training session two days earlier.

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.

On the afternoon of June 23, search forces for the SU30-MK2 discovered aircraft debris at latitudes between 18 degrees 57 minutes to 19 degrees North and longitudes from 106 degrees 3 minutes to 106 degrees 4 minutes East on the waters of central Nghe An province. The position was first determined to be the place where the aircraft crashed.

On the day, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung, who is Chairman of the National Committee for Search and Rescue, asked search and rescue forces to exert extra efforts to search for other crewmembers and the remaining pieces of the CASA 212.

He urged for an early definition of reasons for the aircraft crash in order to put in place measures to avoid similar incidents.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich requested that absolute safety for search and rescue forces is ensured, especially in bad weather.

The SU30 MK2 aircraft with two pilots went missing at 6:50 am of June 14 in the area of Hon Mat Island, about 40km off the coast of the central province of Nghe An’s Vinh city. One pilot was rescued by fishing boats and brought ashore safely. The body of Khai was found on June 17 and brought ashore on June 18.-VNA