The 62-year-old Chief of General Staff, Shen Yi-ming, was among the high-ranking officials killed, the ministry told reporters via the social media messaging app LINE.
The UH-60M Black Hawk military helicopter took off at 7:50 am (2350 GMT Wednesday) from Taiwan’s capital Taipei City on a routine mission to visit troops in remote areas in eastern Yilan County.
It was forced to make an emergency landing in mountains near Taipei a little more than 30 minutes later, local media quoted the ministry as saying.
There were 13 people on the aircraft in total. Five of them, including a military reporter, were rescued and sent to hospitals, the ministry informed journalists.
Air force commander-in-chief, Hsiung Hou-chi told a televised news conference in Taipei that it is unclear what caused the accident, NAN reports.
“A task force has been set up to investigate the case,” he said