"The wreckage of the helicopter was found in pieces and there are no chances of any survivors," Nepal's Defense Secretary Iswori Poudyal said. He gave no details about the nationalities of the three victims, saying only that their remains were found.

The helicopter was carrying six Marines and two Nepalese army soldiers.

The U.S. task force leading humanitarian efforts in Nepal confirmed the wreckage as the missing UH-1Y Huey from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469.

"The assessment of the site is ongoing and a thorough investigation will be conducted," a statement from the Marine-led joint task force said. That statement makes no mention of having located those on board the aircraft. Army Maj. David Eastburn, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Command, told Marine Corps Times on Friday morning that he had received no confirmation of any fatalities.

A Marine Corps spokeswoman at the Pentagon said officials are updating the families as information becomes available. A media briefing is likely later Friday, she said.

The search effort includes four Air Force pararescuemen and one combat rescue officer, who are on the ground at the crash site. Two additional Hueys and one MV-22 Osprey are supporting them, the statement says.

The wreckage was found about 15 miles from the town of Charikot, near where the aircraft had gone missing on Tuesday while delivering humanitarian aid to villages hit by two deadly earthquakes.

The area is near Gothali village in the district of Dolakha, about 50 miles northeast of Nepal's capital Kathmandu.

The Nepalese army chopper that spotted the suspected Huey's wreckage lands at the airport in Kathmandu on Friday.

Photo Credit: Bernat Armangue/AP

The U.S. relief mission was deployed soon after a magnitude-7.8 quake hit April 25, killing more than 8,200 people. It was followed by another magnitude-7.3 quake on Tuesday that killed 117 people and injured 2,800.

The helicopter had been delivering rice and tarps in Charikot, the area worst hit by Tuesday's quake. It had dropped off supplies in one location and was en route to a second site when contact was lost.

U.S. military officials said earlier this week that an Indian helicopter in the air nearby had heard radio chatter from the Huey aircraft about a possible fuel problem.

A total of 300 U.S. military personnel have been supporting the aid mission in Nepal, which includes three Hueys, four Marine MV-22B Ospreys, two KC-130 Hercules and four Air Force C-17 Globemaster heavy-lift aircraft.

The Huey's squadron's is based at Camp Pendleton in southern California.


Military Times staff writers Derrick Perkins and Andrew deGrandpre contributed to this report, along with Ken Moritsugu of The Associated Press.

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