Nepal: U.S. chopper destroyed in crash, no survivors

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Valley Man Among Missing Marines in Nepal


A U.S. Marines helicopter that crashed into a mountainside in Nepal was completely destroyed and there were no survivors among the eight on board, Nepal's top defence official said on Friday.

Three charred bodies were found in the wreckage of the UH-1Y Huey that went missing on Tuesday while on a mission to deliver aid to victims of two earthquakes, Defence Secretary Ishwori Prasad Paudyal told Reuters.

"The search for others is continuing. As the helicopter has broken into pieces and totally crashed there is no chance of any survivors," said Paudyal, the ministry's top civil servant.

17 PHOTOS
Nepal earthquake 5/12
See Gallery
Nepal: U.S. chopper destroyed in crash, no survivors
KATHMANDU, NEPAL - MAY 12: Military hand out water bottles to one of the new IDP camps following a second major earthquake May 12, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. A 7.3 magnitude earthquake has struck in Nepal only two weeks after more than 8,000 people were killed in a devastating earthquake. The latest quake has struck near Mt Everest near the town of Namche Bazar. Tremors have been felt as far away as Bangladesh and Delhi. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/Getty Images)
KATHMANDU - NEPAL - MAY 12: Police rescue teams in response following a further major earthquake on May 12, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. A 7.3 magnitude earthquake has struck in Nepal only two weeks after more than 8,000 people were killed in a devastating earthquake. The latest quake has struck near Mt Everest near the town of Namche Bazar. Tremors have been felt as far away as Bangladesh and Delhi. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/Getty Images)
An Indian widow (C) is comforted by relatives and friends after the death of her husband on the outskirts of Patna on May 12, 2015, after a new 7.3 earthquake and several powerful aftershocks hit neighbouring devastated Nepal. A new earthquake and powerful aftershocks killed dozens of people and brought fresh terror to a traumatised Nepal as buildings already damaged in a monster quake last month came tumbling down. Officials in Nepal said at least 36 people were killed while 17 people also died across the border in northern India, most in the state of Bihar. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)
An Indian widow (C) is comforted by relatives and friends after the death of her husband on the outskirts of Patna on May 12, 2015, after a new 7.3 earthquake and several powerful aftershocks hit neighbouring devastated Nepal. A new earthquake and powerful aftershocks killed dozens of people and brought fresh terror to a traumatised Nepal as buildings already damaged in a monster quake last month came tumbling down. Officials in Nepal said at least 36 people were killed while 17 people also died across the border in northern India, most in the state of Bihar. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescue team officials search for survivors at a collapsed building in Kathmandu May 12, 2015, after an earthquake struck. A 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit has devastated Nepal, sending terrified residents running into the streets in the capital Kathmandu, according to witnesses and the US Geological Survey. The quake struck at 12:35pm local time in the Himalayan nation some 83 kilometres (52 miles) east of Kathmandu, more than two weeks after a 7.8-magnitude quake which killed more than 8,000 people. AFP PHOTO / PRAKASH MATHEMA (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
US rescue team officials with a sniffer dog search for survivors at a collapsed house in Kathmandu May 12, 2015, after an earthquake struck. A 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit has devastated Nepal, sending terrified residents running into the streets in the capital Kathmandu, according to witnesses and the US Geological Survey. The quake struck at 12:35pm local time in the Himalayan nation some 83 kilometres (52 miles) east of Kathmandu, more than two weeks after a 7.8-magnitude quake which killed more than 8,000 people. AFP PHOTO / PRAKASH MATHEMA (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
KATHMANDU - NEPAL - MAY 12: People bring their injured to a Police Hospital in Kathmandu following a further major earthquake on May 12, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. A 7.3 magnitude earthquake has struck in Nepal only two weeks after more than 8,000 people were killed in a devastating earthquake. The latest quake has struck near Mt Everest near the town of Namche Bazar. Tremors have been felt as far away as Bangladesh and Delhi. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/Getty Images)
Indian sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik gives the final touches to a sand sculpture representing the latest Nepal earthquake at Puri Sea beach, some 65 kilometers from Bhubaneswar on May 12, 2015. A new 7.4-magnitude earthquake and powerful aftershocks killed dozens of people and brought fresh terror to a traumatised Nepal as buildings already damaged in a monster quake last month came tumbling down. AFP PHOTO/ASIT KUMAR (Photo credit should read ASIT KUMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Nepalese patients are carried out of a hospital building as a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hits the country, in Kathmandu on May 12, 2015. A 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit devastated Nepal, sending terrified residents running into the streets in the capital Kathmandu, according to witnesses and the US Geological Survey. The quake struck at 12:35pm local time in the Himalayan nation some 83 kilometres (52 miles) east of Kathmandu, more than two weeks after a 7.8-magnitude quake which killed more than 8,000 people. AFP PHOTO / PRAKASH MATHEMA (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
An Indian child is held by his father after receiving treatment at Siliguri Hospital in Siliguri on May 12, 2015, after falling during an earthquake. A new earthquake of 7.3-magnitude and several powerful aftershocks hit devastated Nepal on May 12, killing at least four people and sending terrified residents running into the streets of the traumatised capital. The quake was felt as far away as New Delhi, and officials said it caused buildings to collapse in Chinese-controlled Tibet.AFP PHOTO / Diptendu DUTTA (Photo credit should read DIPTENDU DUTTA/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian hospital staff attend to a schoolgirl who fainted as a tremor struck at Siliguri Hospital in Siliguri on May 12, 2015. A new earthquake of 7.3-magnitude and several powerful aftershocks hit devastated Nepal on May 12, killing at least four people and sending terrified residents running into the streets of the traumatised capital. The quake was felt as far away as New Delhi, and officials said it caused buildings to collapse in Chinese-controlled Tibet. AFP PHOTO/Diptendu DUTTA (Photo credit should read DIPTENDU DUTTA/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian college students write examination papers as they sit on an area of open ground at Siliguri College in Siliguri on May 12, 2015, following an earthquake. A new earthquake of 7.3-magnitude and several powerful aftershocks hit devastated Nepal on May 12, killing at least four people and sending terrified residents running into the streets of the traumatised capital. The quake was felt as far away as New Delhi, and officials said it caused buildings to collapse in Chinese-controlled Tibet. AFP PHOTO / Diptendu DUTTA (Photo credit should read DIPTENDU DUTTA/AFP/Getty Images)
Nepalese people stand in the streets as a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hits the country, in Kathmandu on May 12, 2015. A 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit devastated Nepal, sending terrified residents running into the streets in the capital Kathmandu, according to witnesses and the US Geological Survey. The quake struck at 12:35pm local time in the Himalayan nation some 83 kilometres (52 miles) east of Kathmandu, more than two weeks after a 7.8-magnitude quake which killed more than 8,000 people. AFP PHOTO / PRAKASH MATHEMA (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
An Indian patient is watched over by a relative as she receives treatment at Siliguri Hospital in Siliguri on May 12, 2015, following an earthquake. A new earthquake of 7.3-magnitude and several powerful aftershocks hit devastated Nepal on May 12, killing at least four people and sending terrified residents running into the streets of the traumatised capital. The quake was felt as far away as New Delhi, and officials said it caused buildings to collapse in Chinese-controlled Tibet. AFP PHOTO/Diptendu DUTTA (Photo credit should read DIPTENDU DUTTA/AFP/Getty Images)
People wait outside a building after tremors struck New Delhi on May 12, 2015. A new earthquake of 7.3-magnitude and several powerful aftershocks hit devastated Nepal on May 12, killing at least four people and sending terrified residents running into the streets of the traumatised capital. The quake was felt as far away as New Delhi, and officials said it caused buildings to collapse in Chinese-controlled Tibet. AFP PHOTO /PRAKASH SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
Nepalese patients lie on stretchers in an open area after being carried out of a hospital building as a 7.3 magnitude earthquake hits the country, in Kathmandu on May 12, 2015. A 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit devastated Nepal, sending terrified residents running into the streets in the capital Kathmandu, according to witnesses and the US Geological Survey. The quake struck at 12:35pm local time in the Himalayan nation some 83 kilometres (52 miles) east of Kathmandu, more than two weeks after a 7.8-magnitude quake which killed more than 8,000 people. AFP PHOTO / PRAKASH MATHEMA (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The Marine Corps UH-1Y Huey was spotted near the village of Ghorthali at an altitude of 11,200 ft (3,400 m), an army general told Reuters earlier, as helicopters and Nepali ground troops converged on the crash site.

"It was found on a steep slope," Major General Binoj Basnet said. "Based on information from the Nepali army, the site has been spotted."

U.S. Pacific Command said a Nepali search team had identified possible wreckage of a downed aircraft approximately 15 miles (24 km) north of the town of Charikot, which lies half a day's drive to the east of the capital Kathmandu.

A U.S. team was at the scene "to assess the wreckage and determine if it is the downed UH-1Y Huey", Army Major Dave Eastburn, U.S. Pacific Command spokesman, said in a statement issued to Reuters.

A first earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25 with a magnitude of 7.8 has killed 8,199 people. The death toll from a 7.3 aftershock on Tuesday has reached 117, with many victims in the Dolakha district where the U.S. chopper was lost on the same day.

The combined toll is approaching the number of just over 8,500 who died in an earthquake in 1934, the worst ever natural disaster to hit the poor Himalayan nation.

Some 76,000 more have been hurt while hundreds of thousands of buildings - including ancient temples and monuments - have been damaged or destroyed. Nearly three weeks after the first quake, aftershocks continue to rattle the country.

Nepal mobilised 600 soldiers to search for the Huey, which had six Marines and two Nepali soldiers on board when it went missing after the crew was heard over the radio saying that the aircraft was experiencing a fuel problem.

Two more U.S. Hueys, two MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor planes and Nepali and Indian choppers had been involved in the search for the helicopter, which was part of a joint task force sent in by the United States to provide assistance at Nepal's request.

(Reporting by Tommy Wilkes and Ross Adkin in KATHMANDU and Krista Mahr and Rupam Jain Nair in NEW DELHI; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Alex Richardson)

US Marine Helicopter Missing In Nepal

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners