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Black Hawk chopper search operation to continue until Feb. 14

2018/02/11 21:45:19

CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 11 (CNA) The search for a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter will continue until Feb. 14, the National Search and Rescue Center said Sunday, despite the apparent location of a signal from the flight's black box.

Aircraft will make two flights daily from the National Airborne Service Corps to search from the air, while Navy and coast guard ships continue to search at sea, the center said in a statement.

The search will continue until Wednesday night, the center said.

A day earlier, the Aviation Safety Council (ASC) under the Executive Yuan located the black box signal 2 nautical miles from Lanyu, an island off Taitung County, southeastern Taiwan, close to where the Black Hawk disappeared from the radar.

The signal came from 800-900 meters underwater, ASC official Chang Wen-huan (張文環) said. "My professional opinion is that is where we will find the helicopter."

That determination also presumes all six people on board the chopper when it went down did not survive the crash.

The UH-60M Black Hawk went missing late Monday after being dispatched from Taitung to Lanyu to pick up a patient.

It was heading back to Taitung when it lost contact with the control tower and disappeared from radar screens three minutes after taking off at 11:48 p.m., according to the Ministry of the Interior.

There were six people on board the missing chopper-- one pilot, one co-pilot, an engineer, a flight nurse, the patient, and a family member of the patient.

(By Huang Li-yun and Elizabeth Hsu)
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