Asia

Nepal earthquake: Survivors 'unlikely' after US helicopter crash

  • 15 May 2015
  • From the section Asia
A UH-1Y Huey helicopter flies into the Tribhuvan International Airport after a search and rescue operation in Kathmandu, Nepal, May 13, 2015 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The wreckage of the Huey helicopter, like this one, was found north-east of Kathmandu

The US military says no-one is believed to have survived the crash of one of its helicopters in Nepal.

The wreckage of the helicopter that disappeared this week while delivering aid near the Chinese border in Nepal was found on Friday morning.

Six US marines and two Nepali soldiers were on board. Three bodies have so far been recovered.

Tuesday's 7.3-magnitude quake killed at least 110 people.

It came as Nepal was reeling from the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake of 25 April which killed more than 8,000 people and injured many more.

The editor of the Nepal Times, Kunda Dixit, said the helicopter wreckage was found 56km (35 miles) from Kathmandu.

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Lieutenant General John Wissler, head of the US task force in Nepal, said it was "unlikely" any survivors would be found at the site, which he said was in dense forest near the village of Charikot at an elevation of 3,352m (11,000 feet).

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The helicopter was delivering aid to the badly-hit village of Charikot

The helicopter went missing in the hours after the second quake.

Although the cause of the crash is not yet known, a nearby Indian helicopter heard radio chatter about a possible fuel problem, said Pentagon spokesman Steve Warren.

The marines had been working in the vicinity of Charikot, a village that was hit hard by the first quake, a spokesman for the US Pacific Command said.

The helicopter had been flying from Kathmandu airport as part of the US Operation Sahayogi Haat, which means "helping hand" in Nepali.

More than a dozen US military aircraft have been deployed to help carry out deliveries to areas cut off by the earthquakes.

Two Nepalese army helicopters were deployed in the search for the missing UH-1Y Huey helicopter, as well as 400 troops on the ground.