Eight people, including the commander of Taiwan’s national defense general, General Yi Ming, were killed when a helicopter with 13 passengers was forced to land in the northern part of the island, the island’s defence ministry said on Thursday.
A few minutes earlier, the government of President Tsai Ing-wen had given a slightly smaller casualty report, referring to six dead and five survivors.
For a few hours following the crash, the fate of Taiwan’s top general was unclear, with conflicting reports claiming that he was among the five people who survived, while another said he remained missing.
Now Air Force Commander Hsiung Hou-chi has confirmed and told reporters:
Five have survived while the other eight of our colleagues on board were killed. We are deeply saddened … and give our condolences to their families
As commander-in-chief, President Tsai and the cabinet team will focus on the rescue operations as well as clarifying the cause of the incident