Nepal army recovers 8 bodies from crashed US helicopter

Six US Marines and two Nepali soldiers died while on relief mission following devastating earthquake.

    A total of 300 US military personnel have been supporting the aid mission in Nepal [AP]
    A total of 300 US military personnel have been supporting the aid mission in Nepal [AP]

    The Nepalese army says it has recovered the bodies of all eight people on board a US Marine chopper that crashed this week during a relief mission in earthquake-hit country's mountain.

    In a statement on Saturday, the military said the bodies of five people had been recovered, a day after three charred bodies were retrieved by Nepalese and US military teams.

    "Nepalese and US troops recovered all eight bodies from the crash site," Major-General Binoj Basnyat told the AFP news agency.

    "None of the bodies are recognisable," he added.

    The wreckage of the UH-1 "Huey" was found on Friday following days of intense search in the mountains, 80km northeast of the capital Kathmandu.

    The aircraft, with six Marines and two Nepali soldiers on board, went missing while delivering aid on Tuesday.

    Lieutenant-General John Wissler, commander of the Marine-led joint task force, told reporters in Kathmandu on Friday that his team could not immediately identify the cause of the crash or the bodies found.

    He described the crash as "severe", and said the recovery team at the site encountered extreme weather and difficult terrain.

    The wreckage was located about 24km from the town of Charikot, near where the aircraft went missing while delivering humanitarian aid to villages hit by two deadly earthquakes.

    US military officials said earlier this week that an Indian helicopter in the air nearby had heard radio chatter from the Huey aircraft about a possible fuel problem.

    The US relief mission was deployed soon after a magnitude-7.8 quake hit April 25, killing more than 8,200 people. It was followed by another magnitude-7.3 quake on Tuesday that killed 117 people and injured 2,800.

    A total of 300 US military personnel have been supporting the aid mission in Nepal, which includes three Hueys, four Marine MV-22B Ospreys, two KC-130 Hercules and four Air Force C-17 Globemaster heavy-lift aircraft.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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