KATHMANDU, Nepal — The wreckage of a U.S. Marine helicopter that went missing during a relief mission in quake-devastated Nepal has been found not far from where it vanished, officials said Friday.
After the initial on-site survey of the crash site by a four-man U.S. rescue team, a senior U.S. military official told NBC News there was “no indication that anyone could have survived this crash.”
The chopper — with six Americans and two Nepalese service members on board — vanished late Tuesday night following a magnitude-7.3 aftershock earlier in the day. The UH-1Y Huey helicopter had been on its way to deliver aid to a district hard-hit by the April 25 earthquake, which killed at least 8,150 people.A massive search operation has been underway since the chopper disappeared near Charikot, Nepal. Pentagon officials have said there were no reports of smoke or a loud bang indicating that the aircraft crashed.
Nepal’s military told NBC News on Friday that a search team had found the chopper in the district of Sindhupalchok. The Nepali Army added in a statement that more search teams and helicopters have been mobilized as a result to the area.
The U.S. military said a team sent in to assess the wreckage had determined it was the missing Huey.
The chopper was found approximately 8 miles north of Charikot, according to the U.S. Army, which said that a five-strong team was on the scene.
“The assessment of the site is ongoing and a thorough investigation will be conducted,” U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement.
While the U.S. military has not released the names of anyone aboard the helicopter, the family of Chris Norgren — from Kansas — confirmed he was the pilot.
Norgren’s father, Richard Norgren, said Marine Corps officials visited the family’s home and informed them Chris, who was an assistant coach at Bishop Carroll High School, was among the missing, NBC station KSNW reported Wednesday.
Cassandra Vinograd contributed reporting.