TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan’s military said rescuers have found 10 of 13 people aboard a military UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter that made a forced landing in New Taipei’s mountainous Wulai District Thursday, but three were believed to remain trapped in the wreckage or missing, including the nation’s chief of the general staff, Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴).
The Air Force dispatched two other Black Hawks to the scene, while 80 soldiers were deployed to the area of the incident, located around Wulai’s Tonghou Creek, in a rescue mission for the remaining three, the military said.
The military said that in addition to Shen, the two others are Political Warfare Bureau Deputy Director Yu Chin-wen (于親文) and Hung Hung-chun (洪鴻鈞) of the Office of the Deputy Chief of the General Staff for Intelligence under the defense ministry.
The chopper, part of the Air Force Rescue Team, took off from Songshan air force base in Taipei at 7:54 a.m. bound for a military base at Yilan’s Dong’ao as part of a pre-Lunar New Year inspection.
It disappeared from radar screens at around 8:07 a.m., before making a forced landing in the mountains.
The reason for the incident remained unknown as of press time. The aircraft is one of 60 UH-60M Black Hawks sold to Taiwan by the U.S. in 2010.