Speaking at a farewell ceremony held for the team at Hatay airport, Vietnamese Ambassador to Turkey Do Son Hai noted that the VPA group, along with another from the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security, has been highly appreciated and won the trust of local residents and authorities as well as international forces.
Their presence in Turkey has contributed to fostering the relations between the two countries, the diplomat said.
Maj. Gen. Pham Van Ty, Deputy Chief of the Office of the National Committee for Incident and Disaster Response, Search and Rescue and Deputy Director of the VPA's Department of Search and Rescue, reported that from February 13-22, the VPA team searched 31 locations in Antakya, helping to discover 15 sites with victims trapped under the rubble, including two places with signs of survival. They handed over the sites to the local rescue force to bring 28 dead bodies out.
During that process, they coordinated with the Bahraini and Mexican teams to find out three sites with 10 corpses, he added.
The team is scheduled to arrive at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on February 23 afternoon.
The 76-strong search and rescue team of the VPA, along with 35 tonnes of cargo, departed for Turkey on February 12 night to assist the country in recovery efforts following the devastating earthquake.
Meanwhile, the 24-member team of the Ministry of Public Security engaged in search and rescue efforts in the Turkish southeastern city of Adiyaman after they arrived in the country on February 10. The group returned home on February 19 after outstandingly fulfilling their tasks.