Two bodies found in salvaged Black Hawk wreckage

2018/04/12 17:34:32 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Photo courtesy of the Aviation Safety Council

Photo courtesy of the Aviation Safety Council

Taipei, April 12 (CNA) Two bodies were found inside the wreckage of an Army Black Hawk helicopter retrieved from the bottom of the ocean on Thursday after the chopper went missing on Feb. 5 while on a medical mission, according to an official from the Aviation Safety Council (ASC).

ASC Executive Director Thomas Wang (王興中) told reporters that the salvage mission started Thursday morning at 5 a.m. and at about 2 p.m., the contracted team successfully retrieved the mid-section of the UH-60M Black Hawk, which was previously said to be on the seabed at a depth of about 1,000 meters off southeast Taiwan.

Although the full helicopter was not salvaged, the mid-section which is 25 feet long, 12 feet high and 12 feet wide, was recovered and inside were found two bodies, Wang noted.

The ASC will look through the wreckage to see if they can find the flight recorder to learn more about what happened to the chopper.

Lien Ssu-fan (連思藩) of the Taitung District Prosecutors Office said they were unable to identify the bodies but have sent them to Taitung to see if they can match DNA with samples on record.

The helicopter, which was dispatched from Taitung County to Lanyu, was carrying one pilot, one co-pilot, one engineer, one flight nurse, a patient and a family member of the patient, and was making its way back when it disappeared from radar screens.

Once the wreckage has been checked for more bodies and hazardous items, it will be shipped to Kaohsiung, according to Chang Wen-hua (張文環) of the ASC.

(By Lee Shien-feng and Kuan-lin Liu)

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