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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Body parts from pilots killed in military jet crash found

ROC Central News Agency

2011/09/14 12:02:51

Taipei, Sept. 14 (CNA) The Ministry of National Defense (MND) confirmed that body parts from three missing pilots during a nighttime training mission Tuesday were found Wednesday morning.

An all-out search mission is still ongoing for plane debris and more parts of the pilots' bodies, MND spokesman Lo Shou-he said.

He said the ministry was saddened by the accident and had asked the armed forces to overcome geographical challenges and difficult weather conditions in executing the rescue mission.

An investigative task force composed of military specialists and air force members has been commissioned to look into the cause of the accident, Lo said.

An F-5F fighter and an RF-5E reconnaissance aircraft disappeared during a nighttime training mission in Yilan County Tuesday, and a mission was quickly launched to search for the pilots.

Hundreds of soldiers have been dispatched to Yilan and Coast Guard ships were also searching nearby waters.

Piloting the fighter were Lieutenant Colonel Chang Chien-kuo and Major Wang Hung-hsiang, while Captain Hsiao Wen-min was manning the RF-5.

Chang, 41, has a flight record of 2,654 hours and Wang, 36, has logged 1,862 hours. The 29-year-old Hsiao had the least experience -- 775 hours.

The planes took off from the Air Force base in Hualien at 7:39 p.m. for a nighttime training flight but disappeared from radar screens at 7:52 p.m., according to an MND statement. (By Nancy Liu) ENDITEM/ls

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