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Ho Chi Minh City to deploy choppers for rescue tasks

Ho Chi Minh City to deploy choppers for rescue tasks

Friday, July 03, 2015, 12:21 GMT+7

Helicopters will be deployed for search and rescue efforts in several emergency or disaster situations in Ho Chi Minh City, where there are just a few helipads, the municipal administration has ruled.

Besides rescue vehicles and firefighting equipment, choppers must also be dispatched to help in such cases as accidents at sea, oil spills, explosions in buildings or residential areas, collapses of underground construction projects and air crashes, according to the city’s search and rescue regulations issued on Monday.

Relevant agencies must also deploy helicopters for search and rescue efforts during such natural disasters as storms, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis, according to the document obtained by Tuoi Tre News.

The regulation also stipulates that the city’s army and police are the main forces of the search and rescue efforts.

The document is scheduled to take effect in the middle of this month.

While it is easy for helicopters to reach the spots of sea and air accidents, it might be tougher in the case of explosions or fires in residential areas.

The southern economic hub does have some helipads, most of which are located on high-rises in the downtown area, however.

The 68-story Bitexco Financial Tower, the city’s iconic building, has a helipad on its 52nd floor, whereas the Diamond Plaza shopping center has one on its rooftop.

The helipad on the 52nd floor of the Bitexco Financial Tower. Photo: Bitexco

A fire drill was held at Diamond Plaza in 2013, when two choppers were dispatched to rescue nearly 4,000 people taking part in what was then the largest such drill in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Tam Duc Heart Hospital in District 7, inaugurated in 2006, is capable of receiving patients transferred from other localities on choppers, whereas the military-run Tan Son Nhat Hotel in Phu Nhuan District is also equipped with a helipad.

In 2014 the Ho Chi Minh City administration revealed that the city’s new administrative center will include a helipad inside its headquarters, besides an underground tunnel to connect the headquarters with designated agencies under the instructions of the municipal Party Committee’s Standing Board.

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