The wreckage of a US Marine Corps UH-1Y SuperHuey that went missing while delivering aide in earthquake-stricken Nepal has been discovered about 15 miles away from the Nepalese city of Charikot.
It was uncovered earlier today by Nepalese rescuers, Military.com reports. US forces, including four Air Force pararescuemen and a combat rescue officer are on the scene, and are being supported by two other UH-1Y choppers and an MV-22 Osprey, a Department of Defense statement said.
"The assessment of the site is ongoing and a thorough investigation will be conducted," the statement continued.
Nepalese forces, meanwhile, released additional details.
"The wreckage of the helicopter was found in pieces and there are no chances of any survivors," Nepal's Defense Secretary Iswori Poudyal said, according to Military.com. The Nepalese forces report finding three bodies at the scene of the crash, although no information was released as to the nationalities of the victims.
The UH-1Y, like the one shown above, had six US Marines and two members of the Nepalese armed forces on board when it disappeared on Tuesday. US officials were originally optimistic about the fate of the chopper, citing the fact that no smoke or obvious signs of wreckage had been seen. An Indian helicopter had originally reported hearing radio chatter that the SuperHuey was experiencing a fuel problem when it disappeared in northeast Nepal.
The missing chopper was part of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469, based out of Camp Pendleton, CA.
Scroll down for the official press release from the Department of Defense.
From Joint Task Force 505 News Releases
OKINAWA, Japan, May 15, 2015 – Joint Task Force 505 personnel today identified the wreckage of a missing Marine Corps UH-1Y Huey helicopter that went missing May 12 in Nepal.
The helicopter, assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469, was delivering humanitarian assistance in support of Operation Sahayogi Haat, the U.S. military earthquake relief effort.
The helicopter was reported missing with six U.S. Marines and two Nepalese service members aboard, JTF 505 officials said May 13.
Today at approximately 3:00 p.m. Japanese Standard Time a Nepalese search team identified possible wreckage of a downed aircraft approximately eight miles north of Charikot, Nepal.
Joint Task Force 505 dispatched a team of pararescuemen and a combat rescue officer to assess the wreckage. At approximately 5:05 p.m. Japanese Standard Time the team confirmed that the wreckage was that of the missing helicopter.
JTF 505 currently has a team of four pararescuemen and one combat rescue officer on the ground. Two Hueys assigned to HMLA 469 and one MV-22 Osprey with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 are operating in support of the survey.
The assessment of the site is ongoing and a thorough investigation will be conducted.