Nepalese and U.S. forces have found and positively identified the wreckage of a U.S. Marine helicopter, missing in Nepal since last week, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. It is likely there are no survivors.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a U.S. helicopter — a UH-1 Huey — with four Marines and two Nepalese military personnel went missing earlier this week. The helicopter was delivering much-needed aid to the town of Charikot, one of the places hardest hit by last week’s deadly Nepal earthquake. As of this post, the earthquake, followed by a second, slightly weaker earthquake, has killed over 8,200 people and injured thousands more.
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) May 13, 2015
The wreckage of the missing helicopter was spotted early Friday morning by Nepalese ground troops, according to Military.com, following an intensive search. Three charred bodies have been pulled from the wreckage of the helicopter. As of this post, they have not been identified. Nepalese Defense Secretary Iswori Poudyal confirmed the gravity of the situation.
“The wreckage of the helicopter was found in pieces and there are no chances of any survivors.”
A statement from the Marine Corps promises a thorough investigation of the helicopter crash.
“The assessment of the site is ongoing and a thorough investigation will be conducted.”
Officials have not stated what caused the helicopter to crash as of this post. The helicopter was delivering rice and tarps Tuesday evening, according to CNN when personnel radioed that the aircraft was having an unspecified fuel problem. The crew later lost radio content. Kunda Dixit, editor of the Nepal Times, confirmed via BBC News that the missing helicopter was found on a mountain about 35 miles from Kathmandu in rough terrain at an altitude of about 11,000 feet.
— Kunda Dixit (@kundadixit) May 15, 2015
About 300 U.S. military personnel are currently assisting in the relief effort in Nepal, officially named Operation Maitri, according to Business Standard. As of this post, the Marines who died in the helicopter crash are the only known U.S. casualties in the Nepal earthquake relief effort.
[Image courtesy of Getty Images/David Ramos]