US military helicopter goes missing in Nepal with eight on board
A US military helicopter engaged in quake-relief operations has gone missing in Nepal, forcing authorities to deploy hundreds of soldiers and aircraft to locate the six Marines and two Nepalese soldiers on board the chopper.
Kathmandu: A US military helicopter engaged in quake-relief operations has gone missing in Nepal, forcing authorities to deploy hundreds of soldiers and aircraft to locate the six Marines and two Nepalese soldiers on board the chopper.
A joint search operation by the armies of Nepal and the US has been launched to trace the US Air Force UH-1Y Huey helicopter, which took off from the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) for Dolakha on Thursday.
Six US Marines and two Nepalese soldiers were on board the chopper when it lost contact with the ground control over Sunkhani in Charikot -- 67 km northeast of Kathmandu.
The well-equipped chopper was on its way to deliver aid and relief materials in Charikot and Dolakha, two of the districts most affected by the quakes.
The TIA confirmed that the chopper had lost contact with the ground control, Nepalese media reported Wednesday.
Nepal Army spokesperson Jagdish Chandra Pokhrel said that a search and rescue team has been dispatched to locate the chopper along its probable route.
The chopper has not been located yet, Nepal's home ministry spokesperson Laxmi Prasad Dhakal said.
"Four helicopters have been deployed to search for it," said Dhakal.
After the first major quake on 25 April, the US Air Force had dispatched two C-17 cargo planes loaded with emergency supplies for the disaster-hit areas of Nepal.
Five US Marine Corps aircraft — a UH 1Y Huey helicopter and four MV-22 Ospreys -- have been deployed to Nepal since the first quake on 25 April.
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