Top Taiwan military official missing after helicopter crash-landing
World News of Thursday, 2 January 2020
Air Force General Shen Yi-ming, who is Taiwan’s chief of general staff, went missing after a helicopter carrying 13 people crash-landed into a mountain on Thursday, according to the defense ministry.
The Associate Press quoted Taiwan’s Central News Agency as saying that General Shen has been rescued, but the defense ministry has so far not confirmed it.
The ministry said 10 people had been found alive while rescuers were searching for others.
The helicopter made an emergency landing in the mountains near Taipei after taking off on a routine mission to visit soldiers in the northeast Yilan country ahead of the lunar new year.
Rescue operation underway
The defense ministry said a rescue mission was underway to discover the whereabouts of Shen and two other people who were in the black hawk helicopter. The ministry said 10 people had been located alive.
Air force commander-in-chief Hsiung Hou-chi told a news conference in Taipei that it remains uncertain what caused the incident.
“The search and rescue operation continues… We are investigating whether (the cause was environmental or mechanical… the aircraft’s condition is not ideal,” Hsiung told reporters.
“We hope everyone can be safe and we should know the results this afternoon,” he added.
Taiwan is a de facto sovereign nation since the end of a civil war in 1949. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory and has threatened the use of force to bring the country back under its control.