(DF) Biological Material Found in Jet Fighter Debris after Crash in Sea during Military Exercise

June 10 (BTA) – Biological material has been found in the debris of a Bulgarian Air Force MiG-29 jet fighter which crashed in the Black Sea in the early hours of Wednesday during a military exercise, Bulgaria’s Chief of Defence, Admiral Emil Eftimov, told a news briefing here on Thursday, adding that the material has been sent for DNA analysis. Eftimov said that, given this key development, the effort will now logically focus on recovering the MiG’s flight recorder so as to find out what caused Wednesday’s accident. The jet fighter lost radio contact and disappeared from the radar screens at 00:45 hrs local time on June 9 while performing a training mission over Bulgarian territorial waters in the Black Sea during the Shabla 2021 Field Firing Exercise. The jet was piloted by Major Valentin Terziev, 47, an experienced airman who was also a qualified instructor. The Shabla 2021 Exercise was discontinued, and the Bulgarian Armed Forces grounded all their aircraft except those used for special assignments. On Thursday, the Chief of Defence timelined developments since the aircraft went missing. He said that the Navy had responded instantly and that the ensuing search and rescue operation had been organized and carried out as quickly as possible. It involved ships, helicopters and personnel of the Navy, the Joint Special Operations Command, the Border Police and the Air Force. The search continued on Thursday on an area of some 20 square nautical miles where debris of the jet was spotted. The mine hunter “Tsibar” is scanning the sea floor on site. A side-scan sonar has detected two contacts earlier in the day, which need to be confirmed. The Chief of Defence and Navy experts have approached a private company for the lease of equipment for the recovery of the identified debris of the aircraft which are presumably at a depth of 70 metres. The admiral went on to say that two companies with underwater survey equipment and the Varna-based Institute of Oceanology have offered to join the search effort for free. A task force has been set up to coordinate their work. The Navy will use a special-purpose vessel as a coordination platform in the area of the search. Eftimov said the operation will continue for as long as it takes to achieve credible results. RY/ZH/LG//