The black box from the UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter that crashed killing Chief of the General Staff Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴) has been recovered, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday.
The nation was in mourning after the helicopter carrying military personnel to Dongaoling Base (東澳嶺) in Yilan County went down in the mountains of New Taipei City’s Wulai District (烏來) on Thursday with 13 people on board. Eight died in the crash.
Military investigators recovered the flight recorder from the site of the crash at about 10:40am yesterday and were transporting it to the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board, which would be responsible for interpreting the data, the ministry said.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense via CNA
Board Executive Director Michael Guan (官文霖) estimated that recovered flight data would be interpreted within one to three days, depending on its condition.
The ministry has formed a task force that would investigate potential causes of the crash.
Shen was the highest-ranking military official to die while on duty. Flags at all military units have been at half-mast and all the nation’s Black Hawks have been grounded for safety checks.
Tri-Service General Hospital superintendent Tsai Chien-sung (蔡建松) yesterday said that the five people who survived the crash were all in stable condition.
The five were identified as Lieutenant General Huang Yu-min (黃佑民), Lieutenant General Tsao Chin-ping (曹進平), Major General Liu Hsiao-tang (劉孝堂), Lieutenant Colonel Chou Hsin-yi (周欣頤) and Military News Agency reporter Chen Ying-chu (陳映竹).
Tsao and Liu suffered only minor injuries and were both able to walk, Tsai said, adding that they were still under observation and no date had been set for their discharge from hospital.
Huang sustained compression fractures of the spine, fractured left ribs and a slight contusion of the lungs, but his vital signs remain stable, Tsai said.
Chen’s left leg was crushed and she suffered a lumbar fracture, but she did not require surgery, Tsai said.
She was to remain under observation in intensive care for a few more days before being moved to a ward, he added.
Additional reporting by AFP
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