A rescue team searches for missing military officers, after a Black Hawk helicopter made a forced landing at a mountainous area near Taipei, Taiwan, China, Jan 2, 2020. (Photo: Yilan County Fire Bureau/Handout via agencies)
A Taiwan senior military official was among eight people killed after a military helicopter with 13 people on board was forced to land in a mountainous area of northern Taiwan on Thursday morning, the island's military authority said.
The wreckage of the UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter was found in the mountainous area of New Taipei City, where eight passengers were found "with no signs of life" and five were rescued, the authority said.
The island's "chief of general staff", Air Force General Shen Yi-ming, died in the accident, which the island authorities called a huge loss. The cause of the accident is under investigation, the authorities said.
The helicopter was carrying three crew, nine officers and a military reporter to visit soldiers in the northeast county of Yilan ahead of Chinese Lunar New Year at the end of this month, China News Service reported.
In February 2018, a Black Hawk helicopter carrying six people, including two patients, crashed off the island's east coast with all on board killed, it said.
The accident came just over a week before the island leadership election on Jan 11. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party canceled campaign activities for three days and its rival Kuomintang party for two days.