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Taiwan fighter jet wreckage recovered for crash investigation

Military police, forensic personnel start inquiry into F-5E crash into sea

Retrieved wreckage of F-5E fighter jet.

Retrieved wreckage of F-5E fighter jet. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Wreckage from the F-5E fighter jet that crashed into the sea last October was transported to the Port of Kaohsiung on Saturday (May 1), a day after it was retrieved.

The F-5E, piloted by Captain Chu Kuan-meng (朱冠甍), crashed for unknown reasons off the east coast on Oct. 29 during a training exercise. Chu ejected from the plane and was rescued, but he later died from an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

The salvage ship Polaris arrived at the port at noon Saturday carrying the remnants of the aircraft, which will be handed over to the military. The Taitung District Prosecutors Office has dispatched military police and forensic personnel to the harbor to search for evidence.

After the investigation, the wreckage will be returned to Taitung's Chihhang Air Base, where the plane was stationed. As the jet is largely still intact, it will be easier to find the cause of the accident, Liberty Times reported.

On March 22, two F-5E fighter jets are believed to have collided and fallen into the ocean off the coast of Pingtung County 37.5 nautical miles (75 km) southeast of their base, according to the National Rescue Command Center (NRCC). After missing for weeks, the body of Captain Pan Ying-chun (潘穎諄) was found by search and rescue personnel on April 18.

Updated : 2021-06-15 15:59 GMT+08:00