Plane wreck pulled from Vietnamese waters to be sold as scrap

By Dinh Toan, Thanh Nien News

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Parts of an aircraft believed to date back to the French colonial period (prior to 1954). The aircraft was retrieved from waters off the coast of Thua Thien - Hue Province on April 26. PHOTO: DINH TOAN
The wreck of an aircraft that may have spent decades under a seabed in central Vietnam was dug out of Lang Co Bay on Saturday only to be sold as scrap metal to cover the cost of its excavation.
Lao Dong (Labor) newspaper quoted Pham Thanh Vinh, head of the local military command, as saying that most of the plane had rusted beyond all recognition, but suggested that it could have been a transport aircraft from the French colonial period.
"We couldn't find any weapons or military equipment" in the remains, Vinh was quoted as saying. The recovered parts have been taken to the neighboring city of Da Nang to be appraised and are slated to be sold as scrap metal, according to Vinh.
The airplane measured 12 meters in length with a wingspan of 15 meters and was found buried between 3 meters and 6 meters of sand.  
Vinh offered that the plane could have fallen off a transport ship and been washed towards the shore by the tide. The official further guessed that all of its valuables had been stripped by local fishermen.
Tran Van Giang, mayor of Lang Co Town, was quoted as saying that fishermen notified the authorities of the aircraft's location nearly 10 years ago and they drafted a recovery plan but lacked the funds to carry it out.
It was finally retrieved as part of a cleanup of Lang Co Bay organized in advance of an upcoming festival to mark the 5th anniversary of the bay's admission to the World’s Most Beautiful Bays Club.
Asked how much the wreck will net, both Vinh and Giang refused to answer, saying that they are still making preparations.

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