Nepal army finds wreckage of missing US chopper

  • Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
  • Updated: May 15, 2015 13:53 IST

The wreckage of a US military helicopter that went missing while delivering aid in quake-hit Nepal was found on Friday.

The UH-1Y Huey helicopter had gone missing around 2:30 pm on Tuesday when it was returning after distributing relief. It was carrying six US marines and two Nepal Army soldiers.

"After receiving information from ground troops, Nepalese Army Lancer and Ecureuil choppers spotted the US Marines crashed UH-1Y Huey northeast of Kalinchok in the vicinity of Ghorthali village which lies at a height of approximately 11,200 feet," said a Nepal Army release.

There was no mention of the condition or fate of the crew members, but local reports say three bodies were lying near the crash site and there was no clue of anyone surviving the accident.

"Tragic news of crashed chopper at 11,200 feet in Kalinchowk. Saddened at the loss of brave people at humanitarian work," Nepal finance minister Ram Sharan Mahat tweeted.

The US military said earlier that the UH-1Y Huey was carrying six US Marines and two soldiers from the Nepalese army when it went missing during a relief flight in eastern Nepal.

Relief teams from around the world have been working for weeks to provide water, food, shelter and medical assistance to Nepal after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit on April 25 quake, killing thousands and destroying more than half a million homes.

The missing helicopter was among more than a dozen US military aircraft devoted to aid operations, including two other Huey choppers and four tilt-rotor Ospreys as well as cargo planes.

Before it went missing, there was "some chatter about a fuel problem" on the radio from the helicopter crew, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven Warren said on Tuesday.

Army helicopters and hundreds of US and Nepalese ground troops had been deployed to scour the mountainous terrain where it disappeared on the same day a second earthquake -- with magnitude of 7.3 -- hit Nepal.

(With inputs from agencies)

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