8 Taiwan military officers killed in Black Hawk crash mourned

Wake held for Taiwan's top general and 7 other military officers killed in Black Hawk crash

8 military officers killed in Black Hawk crash.

8 military officers killed in Black Hawk crash. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A mourning area was set up for Taiwan's top general and seven other military officers who were killed in Thursday's (Jan. 2) Black Hawk helicopter crash.

After the fatal crash of a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter in the mountainous district of Wulai in New Taipei City on Thursday morning, the remains of eight of the military officers who were aboard were brought Tri-Service General Hospital in Taipei. Hundreds of military personnel soon gathered in the hospital that evening to honor their fallen comrades.

At about 5 p.m., the media began to gather at a temporary mourning area set up in the hospital's Huaide Hall for all walks of life to mourn and salute the fallen soldiers, reported CNA. A military ceremony was also held at the entrance of the hall to greet the spirits.

Honor guards stand in front of funeral hall. (CNA photo)

By 8:10 p.m. that evening, the families of the victims arrived at the hall by way of minibus. At 8:13 p.m., the body of Chief of the General Staff Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴) arrived at the mourning hall via ambulance, according to the report.

Three honor guards were stationed on both sides of the mourning hall to watch over the fallen heroes. Defense Minister Yen De-fa (嚴德發) was among the hundreds of officers and enlisted personnel who attended the service.

Shen's body arrives at the scene. (CNA photo)

The Black Hawk helicopter took off from Songshan Airport at 7:55 a.m. on Thursday morning as part of a pre-Lunar New Year inspection of a base at Yilan's Dong'ao. However, due to unknown reasons, the helicopter suddenly crash-landed in the mountains of Wulai.

Search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched to the area, and out of a total of 13 crew members and passengers, eight perished, while five survived and are undergoing medical treatment. The crash took place a little over a week before Taiwan is slated to hold its presidential election on Jan. 11.

Photos of each of the fallen soldiers placed at the memorial. (CNA photo)

The eight who perished in the crash include:

Chief of the General Staff Shen Yi-ming

Office of the Deputy Chief of the General Staff for Intelligence, Major General Hung Hung-chun (洪鴻鈞)

Political Warfare Bureau Deputy Director, Major General Yu Chin-wen (于親文)

Lieutenant Colonel Yeh Chien-i (葉建儀)

Co-pilot Captain Liu Chen-fu (劉鎮富)

Chief Engineer Master Sergeant Hsu Hung-pin (許鴻彬)

Chief Master Sergeant Han Cheng-hung (韓正宏)

Office of the Chief of the General Staff, Major Huang Sheng-hang (黃聖航)

The five survivors include:

New Deputy Chief of Logistics of the General Staff Headquarters, Major General Huang Yu-min (黃佑民)

Reporter for the Military News Agency, Sergeant Chen Ying-chu (陳映竹)

Deputy Chief of the General Staff for Communications-Electronics and Information, Major General Tsao Chin-ping (曹進平)

Accounting Office Director Major General Liu Hsiao-tang (劉孝堂)

Chief of Staff Lieutenant Colonel Chou Hsin-i (周欣頤)