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5 missing after rescue helicopter crashes into sea

An Air Force S-70C rescue helicopter yesterday crashed into the sea 48 nautical miles southeast of Orchid Island at around 9:10 p.m., leaving five crew members missing and one rescued, according to Ministry of National Defense spokesman Luo Shou-he (羅紹和).

Luo said that the rescue helicopter disappeared from the radar screen at 9:10 p.m. and crashed into the sea while carrying out a medical rescue mission. He said the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

One nurse aboard was rescued, but the remaining five crew members, including the pilot, deputy pilot, a medical officer, an engineer, and another nurse remain missing.

Both the Air Force and the Navy joined the search for the missing crew members, according to Luo.

Earlier, the Air Force Command Headquarters issued a statement saying that immediately after receiving a report last night that a Taiwanese fisherman on a ship operating in the seas off Orchid Island had suffered a heart attack and needed medical assistance, the Air Force dispatched a 7017 S-70C helicopter to rescue the fisherman.

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The S-70C rescue helicopter shown in this file photo crashed into the seas off Orchid Island last night while carrying out a medical rescue mission. The cause of the crash was still under investigation as of press time. (CNA)

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