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KATHMANDU, Nepal — There do not appear to be any survivors of a U.S. Marine helicopter crash in Nepal, officials said Friday, as the recovery effort was called off due to difficult conditions.
The chopper — which had six Americans and two Nepalese service members on board — vanished Tuesday night while delivering aid in a district hard-hit by the Himalayan nation's April 25 earthquake in which at least 8,150 people died.
U.S. officials confirmed Friday that the wreckage spotted Friday was that of the missing UH-1Y Huey.
"It was a very severe crash and based on what we saw and the condition of the aircraft we believe there were no survivors," Lt. Gen. John Wissler told a press conference in Kathmandu.
Wissler said he was not able to provide a cause for the accident, adding that officials have not been able to positively identify any of the bodies at the scene.
"We will determine the cause," he said, paying tribute to the "courageous" and "selfless" individuals who had lost their lives.
A massive search operation has been underway since the chopper disappeared near Charikot, Nepal.
The chopper was found approximately eight miles north of Charikot, according to the U.S. Army, which said that a five-strong team was on the scene.
"The assessment of the site is ongoing and a thorough investigation will be conducted," U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement.
While the U.S. military has not released the names of anyone aboard the helicopter, the family of Chris Norgren — from Kansas — confirmed he was the pilot.
Norgren's father, Richard Norgren, said Marine Corps officials visited the family's home and informed them Chris, who was an assistant coach at Bishop Carroll High School, was among the missing, NBC station KSNW reported Wednesday.
— Bill Angelucci, Courtney Kube, Cassandra Vinograd and Jim Miklaszewski
Courtney Kube reported from Washington, D.C. Cassandra Vinograd reported from London.