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Global Times

Taiwan's senior military officer confirmed dead in helicopter crash: reports

Global Times

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/1/2 15:01:19

A Taiwan military Black Hawk helicopter carrying 13 people including three senior military officers crashed in a mountainous area in northern Taiwan on Thursday, killing eight people including the island's "Chief of the General Staff" Shen Yi-ming.

Rescue personnel arrived at the crash site at 1:30 pm, and found five survivors of the severely damaged helicopter, Taipei-based news website chinatimes.com reported on Thursday.

Shen and seven other people have been confirmed dead, chinatimes.com reported.

Taiwan's defense authority confirmed that a Black Hawk helicopter lost contact with air control on Thursday morning, and went down in the Wulai District of New Taipei City, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Thursday.

The US-made helicopter had 13 passengers including three senior military officers, a journalist and crew, according to a press conference held by Taiwan's defense authority on Thursday morning, CCTV reported.

The cause of the accident has yet to be determined. Taiwan's meteorological authority said the weather was not likely a factor, according to Taiwan media reports.

Taiwan's military spent about 85 billion new Taiwan dollar ($2.83 billion) in 2008 to purchase the 60 Black Hawk helicopters from the US to replace its outdated UH-1H helicopters, chinatimes.com reported.

The helicopters became fully combat ready in October 2019, reports said.

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