World

Nepal earthquake: Bodies of U.S. Marines, Nepalese soldiers ID'd in chopper crash

The bodies of six U.S. Marines and two Nepalese soldiers who were aboard a Marine helicopter that crashed during a relief mission in earthquake-hit Nepal have been identified, officials said Sunday.

3 bodies found Friday, 5 pulled from wreckage following day northeast of Kathmandu

The bodies of the eight people aboard the U.S. marine helicopter that crashed during a relief mission in Nepal after the April earthquake have now been recovered and identified. (Bernat Armangue/Associated Press)

The bodies of six U.S. Marines and two Nepalese soldiers who were aboard a Marine helicopter that crashed during a relief mission in earthquake-hit Nepal have been identified, officials said Sunday.

The wreckage of the UH-1 "Huey" was found Friday following days of intense searching in the mountains northeast of Kathmandu, Nepal's capital. The first three charred bodies were retrieved Friday by Nepalese and U.S. military teams, and the rest were found Saturday.

The U.S. Marines who were killed were Capt. Dustin R. Lukasiewicz, from Nebraska, Capt. Christopher L. Norgren, from Kansas, Sgt. Ward M. Johnson IV, from Florida, Sgt. Eric M. Seaman, from California, Cpl. Sara A. Medina, from Illinois, and Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Hug, from Arizona, according to a statement from the U.S. military joint task force in Okinawa, Japan.

Nepal's army identified its soldiers as Tapendra Rawal and Basanta Titara.

All eight bodies have been flown to Kathmandu, Nepal's army said in a statement.

The U.S. relief mission was deployed soon after a magnitude-7.8 earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, killing more than 8,200 people. A magnitude-7.3 quake struck the country on Tuesday, killing at least 117 people and injuring about 2,800.

The second quake was centred between Kathmandu and Mount Everest, and hit hardest in deeply rural parts of the Himalayan foothills, hammering many villages reached only by hiking trails and causing road-blocking landslides.

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