KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — The Nepalese army says a rescue helicopter has spotted the wreckage of a missing U.S. Marine chopper in the mountains northeast of Kathmandu.
Army chief of army operations Maj. Gen. Binoj Basnyat said Friday no signs of life could be seen from the air, but could not give any information about the six Marines and two Nepalese army soldiers who were on board when it went missing on Tuesday.
He says the wreckage was located in the district of Dolakha.
He says ground troops are being sent to survey the wreckage on the mountainous terrain. Many areas in that region of Nepal are not reachable by air or road.
This is a breaking story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
From an earlier CNN story:
WASHINGTON — A U.S. military helicopter with as many as eight people on board has gone missing in Nepal as Marine personnel worked to help people in the earthquake-ravaged country.
Military officials are searching for a Marine helicopter that went missing Tuesday evening near Charikot, Nepal, said Pentagon officials. The aircraft was assisting with disaster relief after a devastating earthquake struck the Himalayan nation on April 25, killing thousands of people.
Another strong earthquake struck Nepal on Tuesday afternoon, causing more damage and casualties.
Nepali soldiers and police searched on foot through the night for the missing helicopter in a rugged area roughly 45 miles east of Kathmandu, the capital, said Prem Lal Lamichane, a senior official in Dolakha district.
Two U.S. helicopters from the same squadron as the missing aircraft set out Wednesday morning to conduct aerial searches, according to the U.S. military.
The helicopter that went missing had been “delivering humanitarian aid to those affected by the recent earthquake and evacuating casualties back to Kathmandu,” the U.S. military said.
The cause of the disappearance was not immediately clear, and the incident is under investigation.
About 300 American personnel are on the ground in Nepal helping with earthquake relief efforts.
CNN’s Barbara Starr and Theodore Schleifer reported and wrote from Washington, and CNN’s Jethro Mullen wrote from Hong Kong. CNN’s Sugam Pokharel and Sarita Harilela contributed to this report.