A devastating accident involving a Taiwan military Black Hawk helicopter occurred on the morning of January 2, resulting in multiple fatalities. President Tsai Ing-wen proceeded to the recruit training center at the Jinlioujei Barracks in eastern Taiwan's Yilan County in the afternoon to learn more about the progress of rescue efforts and receive briefings.
Following the meeting, President Tsai issued a statement saying that this is a day of great sorrow for us all, as several distinguished high-ranking officers died in the line of duty in today's accident. They were all among our military's most elite officers, particularly Chief of the General Staff Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴). Not only was he an exceptionally outstanding and conscientious commanding officer, but also a beloved Chief of Staff. His loss fills us with tremendous grief and sorrow.
President Tsai also expressed her deepest condolences to the families of the victims. She has already instructed the Ministry of National Defense to follow up and provide maximum assistance and resources to care for the family members, so that the deceased may rest in peace.
President Tsai stated that she had already instructed Minister of National Defense Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發) to open an investigation to clarify the cause of the accident immediately after rescue efforts are concluded. She further instructed Minister Yen that the most important thing is to ensure military morale is stable during this time and sound national defense military operations are maintained to ensure national security and stability.
The president continued by stating that she had already given the order that beginning today, flags at all national security and military agencies are to fly at half-staff for three days. This is the highest-level military officer ever killed in the line of duty, she stated, so we have decided to fly flags at half-staff for three days beginning today.
Finally, President Tsai stated that she had spoken with Chief of the General Staff Shen's wife by phone to express her comfort and condolences. His wife is the strongest woman she has ever met, the president continued, and the strongest supporter of our men and women in uniform as they serve in the military and defend our country. President Tsai stated that this has taught us that life is not easy for the families of servicemen, and they are quite strong. She then expressed her respect and gratitude to all military families. President Tsai stated that Chief of the General Staff Shen's wife said that she will be strong and that she is very proud of Chief of the General Staff Shen.
President Tsai then proceeded to the Air Force Songshan Base Command to comfort the families of the victims and express her deepest condolences. She asked that the families rest assured that the Ministry of National Defense would provide maximal assistance and resources going forward.
Among those in attendance were National Security Council Secretary-General David. T. Lee (李大維), Defense Minister Yen, and National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General York Chen (陳文政).