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Bodies of Vietnamese coast guard flight crew brought ashore

Wednesday, June 29, 2016, 10:49 GMT+7
Bodies of Vietnamese coast guard flight crew brought ashore
Hospital ship HQ-561 of the Vietnam People’s Navy carries the bodies of the CASA-212 aircrew to the northern city of Hai Phong on June 28, 2016.

Bodies of the deceased flight crew members aboard the Vietnamese coast guard aircraft that went down off the northern coastline this month have been brought to Hanoi.

Eight out of nine bodies from the CASA-212 aircrew have been recovered so far, all of which were brought to the mainland in the northern city of Hai Phong by the hospital ship HQ-561 of the Vietnam People’s Navy on Tuesday evening.

The deceased soldiers were welcomed back by their comrades with a solemn ceremony, before being transported to the Vietnamese capital for funeral rituals.

The Spanish-made CASA-212 aircraft, carrying nine members of a search crew captained by Colonel Le Kiem Toan, crashed into the ocean on the afternoon of June 16, 44 nautical miles southwest of Bach Long Vi Island off Hai Phong City.

The coast guard aircraft had taken off from the Gia Lam military airport in Hanoi the same day to carry out a search and rescue mission for the then-missing pilot of the crashed Russian-made fighter jet Su30-MK2, whose body was found on June 17, 33 nautical miles from Hon Me Islet off the north-central province of Thanh Hoa.

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Hospital ship HQ-561 arrived at the port in the northern city of Hai Phong on June 28, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The Vietnamese fighter jet disappeared from radar screens on June 14 during a training session over the sea, with one pilot confirmed dead and the other brought to safety.

The first four flight crew bodies were found on June 23 and 24. The next two were discovered on Monday, along with the black box of the aircraft  about 26 nautical miles southeast of Bach Long Vi.

Two more bodies were retrieved on Tuesday by search and rescue units close to where the plane went down.

The Ministry of National Defense and the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, in coordination with Airbus Group, parent manufacturer of the airplane, have received the black box, including a flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder, for analysis.

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