Search continues for U.S. helicopter missing in Nepal

Updated 12:47 AM EDT, Wed May 13, 2015
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Story highlights

NEW: Two U.S. helicopters set out Wednesday morning in Nepal to conduct searches

The helicopter with six U.S. Marines and two Nepalis aboard went missing Tuesday evening

(CNN) —  

A U.S. military helicopter with eight people on board has gone missing in Nepal as Marine personnel worked to help people in the earthquake-ravaged country.

Americans and Nepalis are searching for the Marine helicopter that lost contact Tuesday evening near Charikot, an area roughly 45 miles east of Kathmandu, the capital, Pentagon officials said.

The UH-1 Huey helicopter had six U.S. Marines and two Nepalis aboard at the time, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said.

Radio transmissions indicated its crew was having some type of fuel problem before it went missing, said Warren, who added the U.S. government is “hopeful” the aircraft didn’t crash but doesn’t know.

The aircraft was assisting with disaster relief in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake that struck the Himalayan nation on April 25, killing thousands of people. Another strong earthquake hit Nepal on Tuesday afternoon, causing more damage and casualties.

Nepalese military service members unload supplies from a UH-1Y Huey in Charikot, Nepal, May 5, Nepal, May 5.
U.S. Marines
Nepalese military service members unload supplies from a UH-1Y Huey in Charikot, Nepal, May 5, Nepal, May 5.

Nepali soldiers and police searched on foot through the night for the missing helicopter, 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.

About 300 American personnel are on the ground in Nepal helping with earthquake relief efforts.

Complete coverage on Nepal