U.S. Helicopter Missing Over Nepal

A U.S. helicopter has gone missing over Nepal. The American helicopter was a part of USAID Nepal earthquake relief efforts. There have been no reports of a crash since the Marine chopper lost contact with ground units earlier today, according to military officials.

The U.S. Marine helicopter was tasked with carrying out Nepal earthquake disaster relief near the capitol in Charikot, U.S. Navy Capt. Chris Sims told the media. An Indian helicopter was also flying in the vicinity when radio traffic about a possible fuel problem with the U.S. helicopter were heard, U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren said. The Marine pilot may have put the chopper on the ground in in a remote area in the mountains.

Nepalese military teams are currently only conducting a search and rescue mission on the ground because it is now dark in Nepal. The UH-1 Huey typically carries a crew of four, but can handle six additional armed forces members, military officials added. Today, the U.S. Marine helicopter was reportedly carrying two Nepalese military members and six United States Marines.

The UH-1 Huey is reportedly part of the Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469. United States Marines are part of the Nepal earthquake relief effort both on the ground and in the air. The earthquake killed more than 8,000 people. The initial earthquake occurred nearly three weeks ago but a second earthquake, a significant 7.3 magnitude aftershock, hit the region again today. The epicenter of the earthquake, which occurred earlier today, was reportedly located near the town of Namche Bazaar, which is close to Mount Everest.

Joint Task Force 505 personnel are also aiding in emergency search and rescue effort for the missing U.S. helicopter. Several days ago, the Department of Defense posted a photo of the same model of helicopter on the agency’s official Twitter account.

Natalie Hawwa, a USAID representative, said that the organization’s Disaster Assistance Response Team was sending two Hueys and one Osprey helicopter to Charikot to help with the ongoing effort.

Check back with the Inquisitr for more details about the missing U.S. Marine helicopter as additional details become available in this breaking news story.

[Image via: Omar Havana/Getty Images]