Taiwan's chief military officer disappeared after an emergency helicopter landed

TAIPEI: Taiwan The chief military officer of the Army was among the three missing persons on Thursday after an helicopter made an emergency landing in a mountainous area in the north near the capital. Taipei said the defense ministry.

In a statement, the ministry said it had sent a team to rescue the 13 people aboard the Black Hawk helicopter, who included Taiwan 's chief of general staff, Air Force General Shen Yi-ming, and several survivors had been found.

Some crew members are still trapped inside, while others have left, a military spokesman said at a press conference broadcast live on television, although no further details will be given until the troops arrive at the accident area.

The helicopter made the emergency landing after the aviation authorities lost contact with him at 8:22 a.m., the ministry said.

the incident comes a week before democratic Taiwan holds presidential and parliamentary elections on Jan. 11.

President Tsai Ing-wen , which seeks re-election, canceled the electoral campaign activities scheduled for Thursday and urged the authorities to do everything possible to rescue.

the U.S , which has no diplomatic ties with Taiwan but is its strongest international backer and main arms supplier, sold it 60 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters in 2010.

It was not immediately clear if the helicopter involved in Thursday's incident was one of these.

China, which claims Taiwan as its territory to be brought under Beijing 's control by force if necessary, regularly calls the island the most sensitive issue in its ties with the U.S .

Taiwan says it is an independent country called the Republic of China, its official name.