A US Marine Corps helicopter carrying out earthquake relief in Nepal was reported missing on Tuesday with eight personnel on board, officials said.
The UH-1 Huey helicopter had six U.S. Marines and two Nepalese 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 helicopter was declared missing around 2200 local time on Tuesday, according to Pacific Command spokesman Major Dave Eastburn. According to the Pentagon, there was talk of “fuel issues” before the helicopter went missing in the rugged, mountainous region.
The Huey had dropped off supplies in one location and was en route to a second site when contact was lost. He said officials are hopeful that the aircraft is simply missing because there has been no smoke or other signs of a crash.
Search operations from the air have been suspended due to darkness, Reuters reported. Nepali ground forces are continuing their search.
Six US Marines and two Nepali soldiers were aboard the helicopter.
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