Vietnam has yet to find any plane crash in its waters following a tip-off about it from local fisherman, aviation authorities said Tuesday.
Lai Xuan Thanh, chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), told VnExpress newspaper last night that his agency had examined the entirety of the Flight Information Region (FIR) under Vietnam’s control and had not detected any sign of a plane crash off the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago in the East Vietnam Sea, as previously reported by local fishermen.
“We are closely monitoring the FIR but could not confirm the report of such a crash off Truong Sa,” Thanh said.
The country’s air force began its search for signs of a crash on Monday evening when fishermen from the south-central province of Khanh Hoa reported that they had seen an aircraft drop down to the Truong Sa waters, Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, told Tuoi Tre.
Regarding the information published by a news website that a plane crashed 20 nautical miles off Da Lon Island, part of Truong Sa, Tuan said it was groundless.
The Vietnamese air force will immediately deploy its force for search missions whenever it discovers any clue of such an accident, the official affirmed.
On Monday evening, a source said fishermen on board six fishing boats from the south-central provinces of Binh Dinh and Khanh Hoa saw a plane go down into the waters off Truong Sa.
This was then reported to the Vietnam Coast Guard and other relevant forces.
One of these fishermen is Vo Cuong, 43, of Khanh Hoa’s Nha Trang City, who informed the Nha Trang Coastal Information Station at 10:00 am yesterday that he and six other crew members aboard the fishing boat KH 92818 TS witnessed an aircraft crash in Truong Sa at 9:30 pm on Monday, when their vessel was operating in the waters of the archipelago.