Soldiers killed in chopper crash are heroes: Hsinchu Mayor

The two soldiers killed in the chopper crash saved the lives of countless Hsinchu City residents.

Hsinchu City Mayor Lin Chi-chien pays his respects to the two helicopter pilots who lost their lives. (Photo courtesy of CNA)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Hsinchu City Mayor Lin Chih-chien (林智堅) said on Friday that the two helicopter pilots killed in the crash saved countless innocent Hsinchu residents’ lives.

Speaking to reporters at a military hospital, Lin expressed his appreciation for the heroic efforts of the helicopter pilots.

He claims that when the pilots were faced with either saving their own lives but risking the lives of Hsinchu residents or sacrificing themselves but saving Hsinchu residents, they chose to protect the thousands of Hsinchu residents in the area.

As a result, he expressed hopes that Taiwan people would continue to support the military.

His message came after President Tsai Ing-wen shared on Twitter that she “was saddened to learn that Army Major Chien Jen-chun and Captain Kao Chia-lung lost their lives in a training accident.”

“I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to their families. This is a great loss for our military, and we all share in their grief,” Tsai added.

The two soldiers died when a military OH-58D helicopter crashed at an airbase in Hsinchu on Thursday, during the annual Han Kuang exercises, according to the Army.

The two soldiers were identified as pilot and co-pilot on the helicopter, Army Major Chien Jen-chuan (簡任專) and Captain Kao Chia-lung (高嘉隆), the Army Command Headquarters said.