Ministry of National Defense has pensively expressed today (2th) that a UH-60M helicopter (no.933) boarded with 13 Armed Forces personnel, including Chief of the General Staff Admiral Shen Yi-ming, crash landed at 07:50 due to unknown reasons when en route to Dong’ao of Yilan to implement the Lunar New Year comfort and encouragement itinerary.
Ministry of National Defense pointed out that Minister Yen personally went to the command post to direct search and rescue procedures along with the task force he brought with him immediately upon receiving the new of the incident, and the Army also dispatched ground troops to form a search and rescue unit with the local fire department. Search and rescue personnel arrived at the incident site at 13:30, and successfully rescued 5 personnel, including Lieutenant General Huang You-min of Deputy Chief of Staff Room in Logistics , Lieutenant General Secretary Tsao Chin-ping of Deputy Chief of Staff Room in Communication and Electronic Information, Director Liu Hsiao-tang of Combat Planning Room, Combat Officer Lieutenant General Zhou Hsin-yi, and News Officer Sergeant Chen Ying-zhu of Military News Agency, whereas the remaining 8 personnel were discovered with no vital sign. Upon arriving at the Yilan Advance Command Post, President Tsai instructed to not only fully console the families, but also activate subsequent relevant affairs of indemnity and funerals. In addition, adhering to the President’s instructions, Ministry of National Defense has ordered each unit of the Armed Forces to implement half-staff for 3 consecutive days from January 2nd to 4th to mourn for the fallen comrades.
Ministry of National Defense pointed out that personnel suspension was not possible due to bad weather conditions, hence the injured were transported to the ground with manpower, and were sent to the hospital for treatment. The bodies of the personnel who perished in the line of duty will be transported to the Songshan Base for subsequent funeral arrangements. The cause of the incident will be investigated by the Aviation Safety Council.