Taiwan’s Air Force General Shen Yi-ming and seven other defense officials were confirmed dead after their helicopter crashed in a mountainous part of Taipei due to poor weather.

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) first broke the news Thursday morning with an initial report that Shen was among eight people missing after a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter made an emergency landing.

Few hours later, during an afternoon news conference on the same day, MND confirmed the death of Shen and seven officials. They have also announced that five people were able to survive.

Military chief Shen, 62, took oath of office just last year. Prior to this, he became the 22nd Air Force commander of the Air Force and Deputy Minister of Defense.

In a Facebook post, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen expressed her sadness about the death of the military officials, including Shen, whom he regarded as an “outstanding general.”

 “I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the families of the victims,” the president wrote.

MND said that the aircraft was off to Yilan for a routine mission ahead of the Chinese New Year but it was forced to land after losing connection with the aviation authorities.

The cause of the plane crash remains unclear as of writing.

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