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Friday, May 15

Nepal army says wreckage of missing US military helicopter sighted near China border UPDATED 8:20 AM EDT

A US Marines helicopter that crashed into a mountainside in Nepal was completely destroyed and there were no survivors among the eight on board, including six Marines and two Nepali soldiers, 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 said.

"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.

The Marine Corps UH-1Y Huey was spotted near the village of Ghorthali at an altitude of 11,200 feet , an army general said, 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."

AP report via Yahoo
6:00 AM EST
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepalese rescuers on Friday found three bodies near the wreckage of a U.S. Marine helicopter that disappeared earlier this week while on a relief mission in the earthquake-hit Himalayan nation, and officials said it was unlikely there were any survivors from the crash.
"The wreckage of the helicopter was found in pieces and there are no chances of any survivors," Nepal's Defense Secretary Iswori Poudyal said. He gave no details about the nationalities of the three victims, only saying their remains were charred.
The helicopter was carrying six Marines and two Nepalese army soldiers.
A separate team sent by the U.S. Marines also said they identified the wreckage as the missing helicopter, the UH-1 "Huey."
"The assessment of the site is ongoing and a thorough investigation will be conducted," a statement from the Marine-led joint task force said.
The wreckage was found about 24 kilometers (15 miles) from the town of Charikot, near where the aircraft had gone missing on Tuesday while delivering humanitarian aid to villages hit by two deadly earthquakes, according to the U.S. military joint task force in Okinawa, Japan.
The area is near Gothali village in the district of Dolakha, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Nepal's capital Kathmandu.
The discovery of the wreckage, first spotted by Nepalese ground troops and two army helicopters Friday, followed days of intense search involving U.S. and Nepalese aircraft and even U.S. satellites.
initial report:

By Andrew Marszal, and agencies

7:52 AM BST May 2015

The Telegraph (U.K.)

[this report has been updated by Telegraph]

Wreckage of the US helicopter that went missing in Nepal amid earthquake rescue efforts on Tuesday has been found near the Chinese border, the country's army said on Friday.

Six Marines and two Nepalese army soldiers were believed to be aboard the aircraft, which went missing at 10pm local time (2pm BST) on Tuesday in the mountains of Nepal. Their status is not yet known.

"We don't know if there are any survivors, we have yet to confirm that. We have sighted the wreckage from the air, we are now trying to land in the area and get more information," Major General Binoj Basnet told AFP by telephone.

No signs of life could be seen from the air, said Maj. Gen. Basnyat. He said the wreckage was located in the district of Dolakha.

Ground troops were being sent to survey the wreckage on the mountainous terrain. Many areas in that region of Nepal are not reachable by air or road.

The news came as stores reopened and traffic was returning to Nepal's capital three days after the Himalayan nation was shaken by a second major earthquake.

[...] [continues with report about Nepal quake survivors]

Twitter pix and caption posted with report:

High terrain where wreckage of Venom found Friday Mt Gauri Shanker (Chomo Tseringma) in background.
-- Kunda Dixit, Twitter poster

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