PHOENIX (AP) — The people aboard a Marine helicopter that crashed in earthquake-ravaged Nepal included a military videographer from Arizona and a pilot from Kansas who was flying disaster relief supplies.
Three bodies found near the wreckage had not yet been identified Friday. The helicopter was carrying six Marines and two Nepalese army soldiers.
Capt. Chris Norgren of Wichita, Kansas, was a pilot on the helicopter that disappeared this week. He played high school football in the state and worked on the student newspaper.
“He loved to fly and he loved to help people, and those were the two things that he was doing,” his father, Ronald Norgren, told The Associated Press on Friday. “He lived life to the fullest.”
Lance Cpl. Jacob “Jake” Hug of Phoenix was also on the helicopter. Family members told the Arizona Republic that Hug joined the Marines shortly after graduating high school and was based in Okinawa, Japan, while working as a combat videographer.
They described him as an avid reader who has five brothers and sisters.
Hug turned 22 last week and called home to talk to his family on Mother’s Day.
“He said he was tired and he was ready to go back, and just all the nice things that a great son would say to his mother on Mother’s Day,” said his father Jim Hug.
Lt. Gen. John Wissler, commander of a Marine-led joint task force, told reporters in Kathmandu that his team could not immediately determine the cause of the crash.
“It was very severe crash, and based on what we saw in the condition of the aircraft, we believe there were no survivors,” he said.
The Huey helicopter that crashed was from Marine Light Attack Helicopter squadron 469 based at Camp Pendleton, California.
Lt. Col. John Caldwell, a Marine Corps spokesman, said the military will not identify the victims until 24 hours after their families are notified.
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.
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