A Vietnamese military search plane with nine people on-board has gone missing after it went looking for a missing pilot whose jet fighter went down off the coast this week, state media reported.
The aircraft on Thursday disappeared from radar 40 nautical miles southwest of Bach Long Vy island, a small island in the Gulf of Tonkin that sits halfway between mainland Vietnam and China’s Hainan island, state-run VNExpress reported.
“There were nine people on board, including the main pilot,” the news site reported.
All the passengers were military staff, according to the ministry of defense.
The aircraft was part of a mass mobilization of planes and ships searching for Vietnamese Air Force Su-30 fighter aircraft that crashed into the sea after taking off from Sao Vang airport on a training mission Tuesday.
One of two pilots on the aircraft was rescued by a fishing boat the following day. The authorities have yet to find the other pilot or any wreckage of the jet.
According to the rescued pilot, Nguyen Huu Cuong, there was an explosion in the cockpit.