The fisherman from the south-central province of Khanh Hoa who found the piece of debris believed to be part of an airplane has revealed that he also brought home other objects.
On February 11, Le Tan Binh spotted a floating object while fishing off the province’s Dai Lanh Beach.
The fisherman showed local authorities and the media that piece of metal before revealing on Sunday that he had found three metal bars as well.
The bars measure 55cm, 88cm and 95cm in length, respectively. The two bigger pieces both bear the text “CCBIII-251ZTA – 2” whereas the other has small round holes on the surface.
A close-up view of the metal bars. Photo: Tuoi Tre
“Shortly after I pulled the debris onto my boat, these bars fell to the deck,” Binh told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Neither the piece of debris nor the bars were covered with moss at the time of discovery, according to the fisherman.
There were however signs of burning on the surface, he added.
Binh said four people, presenting papers saying they were officers from the air force, visited him on Saturday to examine the piece of debris and the three metal bars.
“They took photos and shot videos but did not tell me anything,” he said.
The Khanh Hoa military unit has been tasked with identifying the debris since last week but there were no official examination results as of Sunday.
Le Van Chin, political commissar of the Khanh Hoa Military Command, told Tuoi Tre the High Command of Military Zone 5, in charge of south-central Vietnam, and the Ministry of National Defense had been notified of the discovery.
“We are waiting for their guidance and orders to identify the objects,” he said.
Tran Dinh Thu, chairman of Dai Lanh Commune in Van Ninh District, where Binh resides, has asked to have the objects kept by local agencies for investigation, but the fisherman has refused, saying it was him who found the debris.
The Dai Lanh administration has therefore requested that Binh keep a close eye on the debris, and not lose it.
The object is made of aluminum and weighs approximately 100kg. The widest part of the metal object measures 2.1 meters and the narrowest section is 1.1 meters.
The beach where Binh found the debris is part of the East Vietnam Sea.
There have been no significant air crashes in nearby areas in recent times, except for the following two.
The mysterious Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The flight last made voice contact with air traffic control when it was over the East Vietnam Sea, less than one hour after takeoff.
On April 16, 2015, two Russian-made Sukhoi Su-22 fighter jets of Vietnam’s Air Regiment 937 crashed in an apparent head-on collision during a training exercise off the south-central province of Binh Thuan.
The warplanes fell to the seabed off the province’s Phu Quy Island.
The two pilots were retrieved 12 and 13 days into the search, whereas only parts of the two jets have so far been found.
Binh Thuan and Khanh Hoa are both coastal provinces that front the East Vietnam Sea.
Below are the latest photos of the debris taken by Tuoi Tre: