One of Taiwan’s most senior military officials was initially reported missing after a deadly helicopter crash in the north of the country. After only a few minutes, the aviation authorities had lost contact with the aircraft, which started on Thursday at 7:50 a.m. (local time). This was announced by the Ministry of Defense of the East Asian island nation.
According to the ministry, the 13 people on board the Black Hawk helicopter included Shen Yi-ming, general of the Air Force and chief of staff. According to “Taiwan News”, there were also several other high-ranking military representatives among the passengers.
At a press conference at 10:20 am (local time), the Department of Defense initially confirmed that ten survivors had been found, including Shen. The search for the three missing people is in full swing. The information was corrected in the early afternoon: According to the Taiwanese government, six people died and five survivors have been found so far.
The crash site is located in the mountains of the Wulai District in New Taipei City. The target of the UH-60 helicopter was the Yilan region on the northeast coast. There, a visit by soldiers for the New Year was on the agenda.
The election campaign is currently underway in Taiwan. The country is holding parliamentary elections on January 11. The presidency will also be filled. Acting President Tsai Ing-wen cancelled her campaign events for Thursday when the news of the crash landing became known. She appealed to the forces to do everything possible to help the soldiers.