TAIPEI, TAIWAN – A Taiwanese Black Hawk Helicopter with 13 people on board – including the crew – crashed on Thursday, killing 8 people. 5 people survived the crash. Among the passengers was also Taiwan’s top military official General Shen Yi-ming. He did not survive the crash. The helicopter crashed in the mountains of northern Taiwan, near Taipei City.
The Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk – a modernised version of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter – disappeared from radar near New Taipei City. General Shen Yi-ming was en route to visit troops. He was confirmed dead with seven other people on board, Taiwan Air Force Lt. Gen. Hsiung Hou-chi said during a news conference Thursday afternoon. Five people survived.
The helicopter departed its home base at 8:07 AM local time, when it lost contact with ATC, 13 minutes after it took off, Hsiung said. He also said the helicopter’s condition was “not ideal,” and the ministry had set up a task force to investigate the cause of the accident.
A search team from the New Taipei City Fire Department initially found General Shen Yi-ming while he was conscious. He was sent to hospital, spokesman Chen Hao-feng told CNN.
General Shen took office as chief of general staff in July last year, after he served previously as the Taiwan Air Force commander.
“Chief of the General Staff Shen Yi-ming was an outstanding, competent general, as well as a chief loved and esteemed by everyone. His departure has left us with tremendous wistfulness and sorrow,” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen said on Facebook.