Vietnamese rescuers and local people

A farewell ceremony for the mission was held at Hatay Airport in Antakya, the capital of Turkey.

Addressing the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Turkey Do Son Hai emphasized that the Vietnam People’s Army’s sending its rescue force to Turkey helped boost the bilateral relations between the two countries.

He highlighted the great efforts, the spirit of overcoming difficulties and dangers and active assistance of the rescue missions of the Vietnam People’s Army and the Ministry of Public Security. He said that their deeds were highly praised by local authorities and people and international rescue forces.

Ambassador Do Son Hai says farewell to the VPA's rescue team.

The diplomat said that this was the first time Vietnam has assigned its rescue forces to undertake humanitarian duties in a faraway country, actualizing the Party and State’s policy that Vietnam is a responsible member of international community.

According to the ambassador, the safety of the two rescue missions of Vietnam demonstrated Vietnam’s operational capability in a completely new and difficult area.

Vietnamese rescuers at Hatay Airport before heading home

At the event, Major General Pham Van Ty, chief of the VPA's rescue mission, gave a briefing on the force’s rescue results. He sincerely thanked the Vietnamese Embassy in Turkey for supporting the mission to excellently fulfill their duties.

The VPA’s rescue mission is expected to arrive at Noi Bai International Airport on the afternoon of February 23.

Vietnamese rescuers ensure safety during the international mission performance. They are expected to arrive in Hanoi on the afternoon of February 23.
From February 13-22, the VPA’s rescue mission searched 31 locations in Hatay province, Turkey. They discovered 15 sites with victims, of which two had signs of life. The team handed over the scene to local rescue units who used heavy equipment to dig and recovered 28 victims' bodies.

Also in Hatay province, the mission coordinated with the rescue teams of Bahrain and Mexico to search and locate three sites with 10 victims of the earthquakes and hand them over to the local rescue force. The Vietnamese military medical team examined, gave first aid and provided medicines to seven foreign rescuers who had accidents while on duty.

The mission’s leaders visited and exchanged rescue experience with nine international rescue teams, including those from China, India, Italy, and Pakistan.

Translated by Mai Huong