Military helicopter OH-58D number 616 of the 601st brigade crashed at Xizhu air base, northwest of Taiwan island, after participating in the Hanguang live fire exercise, according to today’s announcement from the command.

It is unclear what caused the helicopter to crash.

Smoke rose from Hsinchu Air Base on Taiwan island after the OH-58D helicopter crashed.

The Hsinchu City Fire Department said it received notice of the accident at around 3:28 p.m. local time (2:28 p.m. Hanoi time), but soldiers at the base extinguished the fire before firefighters arrived.

The last time a Taiwanese OH-58D helicopter crashed was in May due to human error, but there were no casualties in the incident.

In March 2018, an OH-58D suddenly lost altitude from 800 m to 100 m due to a student pilot’s error.

Taiwanese military helicopter crashed

OH-58D helicopter participated in a live-fire exercise on Taiwan island, July 15.

Taiwan’s defense forces conducted the Han Quang exercise on July 13-17, with a scenario to cope with an amphibious attack by mainland China.

The Han Quang exercise was held in the context of increased tensions around both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

China considers Taiwan a province awaiting reunification and has declared its readiness to use force if necessary, threatening the island to `pay a heavy price` if it pursues separatism.

The OH-58 helicopter was purchased by Taiwan from the US, often serving as an armed reconnaissance helicopter supporting ground forces.

Taiwanese military helicopter crashed

Location of Hsinchu city (marked in red) on Taiwan island.