Marine Corps Helicopter Helping With Relief Effort In Nepal Goes Missing

May 12, 2015

Updated at 3:02 p.m. ET

A Marine Corps helicopter helping with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal has been declared missing, but a Defense Department official said that so far there has been no indication it crashed.

U.S. Army Col. Steve Warren said an Indian helicopter nearby heard radio chatter from the Marine aircraft about a possible fuel problem. NPR’s Tom Bowman says the U.S. cannot confirm the Indian account.

Warren said the chopper, which was carrying six Marines and two Nepali army soldiers, had dropped off supplies, including tarps and rice, in one location and was heading to another when contact was lost. There are no signs of a crash, he said.

The UH-1 Huey was conducting an operation near Charikot, Nepal, on Tuesday about 9 a.m. local time. Marines in a V-22 Osprey searched near the last known location for about 90 minutes. The Nepali army is now conducting the search on foot.

Warren said the helicopter may have landed in a low area and may be unable to get a beacon or radio signal out.

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