President Tsai calls Black Hawk crash victims ‘losses to the nation’

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) attended a state funeral Tuesday for eight military members who died in the UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter crash, including Air Force General and Chief of the General Staff Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴).

Speaking at the service in the morning, Tsai said that the missions of the deceased military members “have finally come to an end.”

Tsai said that their deaths are “great losses to the nation,” adding that it was extremely touching when the exterior of Taipei 101 lit up with the line “thank you for protecting our homes, all Taiwanese are your families.”

Tsai further promised new benefits for members of the military, including additional compensation for the Army Airborne Special Forces. They were originally projects proposed by the late chief of the general staff.

President Tsai Ing-wen expresses her condolences to a family member at a funeral service in Taipei on Jan. 14, 2020. (CNA)
President Tsai Ing-wen expresses her condolences to a family member at a funeral service in Taipei on Jan. 14, 2020. (CNA)

Many high-ranking officials and renown politicians also attended the service, including Vice President Chen Chien-Jen (陳建仁), former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), and William Brent Christensen, director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT, 美國在台協會).

The UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter crashed in New Taipei City’s Wulai District earlier this month, causing eight deaths and five injuries.

The cause of the crash is still unclear.

Two data recorders on board — the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, will be sent to Sikorsky Aircraft, the original manufacturer of the UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter in the U.S. for analysis, the air force announced on Jan. 7.

Follow Mimi Hsin Hsuan Sun on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mimihhsun

Read More from The China Post