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PLA carries out historic medical mission in South China Sea

By An Baijie (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-04-18 09:59 Comments

PLA carries out historic medical mission in South China Sea

A PLA Navy flight that was patrolling the South China Sea suspended its task to help transport three severely ill patients from Yongshu Reef in the Nansha Islands to Sanya city in Hainan province on Sunday. The Yongshu Reef has been in use since 1988 as a meteorological observation station as requested by UNESCO. Located in one of the world's busiest areas for air and sea travel, Yongshu Reef is being developed to provide medical and other emergency services. [Photo/t.people.com.cn/planavy]


A navy patrol aircraft carried out a historic medical mission to transport three workers from Yongshu Reef, part of the Nansha Islands, on Sunday, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

It's the first time that a Chinese military aircraft landed on the reef in the South China Sea. Earlier in January, the Foreign Ministry confirmed that China had completed an airfield on the reef, the country's southernmost airfield.

Li Wanmei, one of the three workers, was in a coma due to suspected digestive problems. One of the other two workers had a possible hip fracture and the other was believed to be suffering from appendicitis. All three were described as being in a serious condition.

Transporting the men by sea was ruled out because of the time factor and weather conditions. Wu Shengli, commander of the PLA Navy, and Miao Hua, political commissar of the PLA Navy, ordered the patrol aircraft, undertaking missions in the South China Sea, to transport the workers to the No 425 Hospital of the Navy in Sanya, Hainan province.

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