A US Marine Corps UH-1Y Huey helicopter that was engaged in disaster management in Nepal has been declared missing.
The helicopter, which was carrying six US Marines and two Nepalese soldiers, was involved in delivering rice and tarps to earthquake victims.
According to Pentagon spokesman army colonel Steve Warren, the reports from the field showed that the crew were talking about ‘fuel issues’ shortly before US military officials lost contact with the helicopter.
The helicopter lost contact near Charikot, an area approximately 45 miles east of the Nepalese caplital, Kathmandu.
Warren said: "Essentially what we have right now is truly a missing helicopter. We simply don’t know its location."
The aircraft had dropped off supplies at one location, and was on the way to a second site when contact was lost, he added.
According to a senior Nepalese army officer, approximately 400 Nepalese soldiers, backed by helicopters, are now focusing their search on a nearby river.
The missing helicopter was one of three Hueys involved in earthquake relief operations.
Nepal recently witnessed a number of tremors following last month’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake. The latest aftershocks also included a 7.3 magnitude tremor, killing at least 65 more people.