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Taiwan military chief among eight dead as helicopter makes forced landing

Published: January 2, 2020
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Source: Reuters

Taiwan’s top military official was among eight people killed on Thursday, after a helicopter carrying them to visit soldiers crashed in a mountainous area near the capital Taipei, the defense ministry said.

The main portion of the helicopter lay in a northern forest wreathed in mist, its blades shattered, as dozens of rescuers combed the wreck for survivors, pictures released by emergency authorities showed.

The reasons for the crash, in the wake of a forced landing, were unknown, the military said in a statement, adding that the chief of general staff, Air Force General Shen Yi-ming, had died, while five of the 13 aboard survived.

Shen, who took up his post in July, was Taiwan’s highest-ranking general to die in the line of duty, President Tsai Ing-wen said, adding that she had asked the defense minister to launch an investigation.

“We must find out the reason for the incident,” she told reporters in the northeastern county of Yilan, where the helicopter had been heading after setting out from Taipei.

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