Eight bodies have been recovered from the site of a downed U.S. Marine helicopter, after wreckage was discovered in a dense forest north of Charikot was identified as the missing aircraft.
The Nepal Army said in a press release that eight bodies had been recovered and they were all unrecognizable.
While the bodies are not identifiable, the helicopter was believed to have been carrying eight passengers in total – six U.S. Marines and two Nepalese Army personnel. Authorities said that both the Nepalese Army and U.S. Military was on site and the investigation was underway.
There has been no indication as to a potential cause for the crash, a U.S. official has said.
The UH-1 Huey helicopter went missing Tuesday, hours after a 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck the country. The helicopter had been delivering humanitarian aid in Charikot – an area 50 miles east of Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu.
“The wreckage was found at approximately 11,000 feet in extremely dense forest and exceptionally rugged terrain,” Marine Lt. Gen. John Wissler, the commander of Joint Task Force 505, said at a news conference.
U.S. Air Force pararescuemen and a combat rescue officer who arrived at the wreckage site confirmed that the wreckage spotted by the Nepalese military was the missing helicopter, according to a statement from Joint Task Force 505.
“The wreckage of the helicopter was found in pieces and there are no chances of any survivors,” said Nepal’s defense secretary, Iswori Poudyal.
After the wreckage was discovered, President Obama offered condolences to the families of the Marines and Nepalese soldiers who were on board the helicopter.
“They went to that remote land to help people who suffered devastating losses in the terrible earthquake,” Obama said. “They represent a truth that guides our work around the world: When our friends are in need America helps. Sometimes those in uniform get attention only when there is a battle, but they do so much more than that, looking out for folks who are vulnerable, or having a tough time if [they’ve] experienced a disaster, and it can involve great risk and great sacrifice. … The world is better for them.”