Taipei, Jan 2 (IANS) At least eight people, including Taiwan’s Chief of the General Staff Shen Yi-ming, were killed in a helicopter crash on Thursday, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND).
The helicopter took off at 7.50 a.m. from the Songshan air force base, 4.9 km from Taipei, bound for an inspection at a base in Yilan’s Dong’ao, reports the Taiwan News.
Due to unknown reasons, communication with the helicopter was lost at 8 a.m., and it apparently made a forced landing in the mountains of New Taipei City’s Wulai district.
Addressing the media here, Air Force Commander-in-Chief Hsiung Hou-chi said that the last communication with the crew took place at 8.06 a.m. and the chopper disappeared from radar screens a minute after that.
Besides Shen, the other victims were also high-ranking military officials, the MND said, adding that five other passengers were alive and receiving treatment.
In addition to three crew members, nine military officers were on board, as well as a reporter from the Military News Agency.
Hsiung said that four aircraft and 111 search and rescue personnel have been dispatched to the scene.