Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas has asked Sweden for assistance in salvaging a sunken An-2 from the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
Lietuvos karinių oro pajėgų sraigtasparnis Mi-8
© KAM

"I wrote to my Swedish counterpart for possible assistance yesterday. Perhaps we can make it with the help of the military or those companies who have done that before and have experience," the minister told journalist on Thursday.

In his words, the government is still looking for possibilities to bring the sunken plane to the surface and is consulting with specialists from the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

"We are hearing all kinds of versions as to whether Lithuania is capable of doing that. Yesterday somebody said we are capable, and today there are at least several specialists who say we don't have necessary equipment. So we are looking for reliable partners who could do the job," Olekas said.

The Lithuanian airplane An-2, which went missing on Saturday with two pilots aboard, was discovered on the bottom of the Baltic Sea on Tuesday afternoon 124 meters below the surface more than 116 kilometres from the shores of Latvia and Lithuania.

The defence minister has said that additional video material from the underwater inspection of the aircraft will be received shortly as the plane was inspected by other robots than during the first inspection.

The An-2 piloted by two highly experienced pilots, Adolfas Mačiulis and Alvydas Selmistraitis, went missing en route from Sweden to Lithuania on Saturday afternoon.

Lithuanian, Swedish and Latvian military ships and airplanes have been involved in the search mission. The operation was stooped on Sunday but continued on Monday.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has launched an investigation into the incident. Moreover, Olekas asked the Prosecutor General's Office on Wednesday to launch a pre-trial investigation into the search and rescue operation for the An-2 and its crew.

BNS
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