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Taiwan chief of staff killed in helicopter crash (Ministry of Defense)

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The chief of staff of the Taiwan army and seven other senior officers were killed in a helicopter crash in a mountainous region Thursday, according to the Ministry of Defense, days before the island’s presidential election.

Chief of Staff Gen. Chen Yi-ming died after the crash of a Black Hawk U-H-60M helicopter in a mountainous area near Taipei, according to Defense Ministry spokesman Xie Shun-wen, while five people were rescued.

Sheen, 62, and a number of senior military officials were on a routine mission to inspect soldiers in Yilan County (northeast) on the occasion of the lunar New Year holiday.

“Five escaped while eight of our colleagues on board the helicopter were killed. We are all very sad … and offer our condolences to their families,” Air Force Commander Hsiung Ho-shi told reporters.

President Tsai Ying Win’s office announced that she would cancel her campaign activities for three days following the accident.

“President Tsai, as a general leader, with her office team, will focus on relief and research operations by explaining the causes of the accident,” said a statement from Tsai’s office.

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