The burned wreckage supposedly from the U.S. Marine Corps UH-1Y that went missing earlier in the week during earthquake relief operations in Nepal has been found on a mountainside east of Kathmandu. Nepal’s Defense Secretary Ishwori Paudyal stated three bodies have also been found near the site.

Searchers have been scouring the area, both on land and by air, since the aircraft went missing. The search and rescue operation was complicated by a powerful 7.3 magnitude aftershock that struck the region shortly after it began.

There were eight people on board the latest generation of Huey when it went down. Some reports point to a possible radio transmission from the aircraft stating that there was a fuel problem of some kind, although the origin of that radio call remains questionable. Regardless of a potential mechanical failure, flying in a disaster zone, especially one with some of the highest peaks and steepest terrain in the world, is about as challenging as it gets for helicopter crews.

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Photos via AP

Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for Jalopnik.com You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address Tyler@Jalopnik.com