The bodies of all eight soldiers who were on a U.S. Marine helicopter when it crashed on an earthquake relief mission in Nepal have been recovered, Nepalese government and military sources said.
The bodies of six U.S. Marines and two Nepalese soldiers were recovered near the crash site in remote mountains northeast of Kathmandu.
The wreckage of the UH-1 Huey was found Friday after days of searching by Nepalese aircraft and U.S. satellites. The aircraft went missing Tuesday as it delivered aid to villages damaged in last month’s earthquake, which killed more than 8,000.
While the cause of death has yet to be determined, “the bodies were all badly burned,” said Lakshmi Prasad Dhakal, the Nepalese home ministry spokesman, quoted in The Wall Street Journal.
Lt. Gen. John Wissler, commander of the Marine-led joint task force, told reporters in Kathmandu on Friday that his team could not immediately identify the cause of the crash, the Associated Press reports.
“He described the crash as ‘severe,’ and said the recovery team at the site encountered extreme weather and difficult terrain,” AP says.
A magnitude-7.3 earthquake on Tuesday, the day the helicopter disappeared, killed 117 people in the region. That followed the magnitude-7.8 temblor that shook the country April 25 and took more than 8,000 lives.