CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The family of a Marine from Charleston has been notified he is one of six Marines on a helicopter that went missing during relief efforts in Nepal, according to a family friend.
Mark Johnson's family received an update late Wednesday afternoon on the search for the missing chopper, according to Scott Ruggles, a friend of Johnson's family. Ruggles said the family was told there is still no reason to believe the helicopter crashed.
The UH-1Y Huey with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469 that Johnson, five other Marines and two Nepalese service members were aboard was declared missing Tuesday during a humanitarian mission to assist earthquake victims in Nepal, according to a release from the Joint Task Force 505.
The aircraft was delivering humanitarian aid to an area 60 miles northeast of Kathmandu, Nepal's capital, and evacuating casualties to Kathmandu when contact was lost Tuesday night, according to military authorities.
On Monday, Johnson was included in a video released by the military showing relief efforts underway.
"In over a week, HMLA-469 has flown over 54 flight hours, we've delivered over 68,000 pounds of supplies to the outer villages and we also plan to deliver another 140,000 pounds before we leave," Johnson said in the video.
Mudslides triggered by the 7.4 magnitude quake Tuesday have blocked roads, leaving helicopters as one of the only ways to reach victims of the quake, according to CBS News.
Multiple helicopter units and a battalion-sized Nepalese ground force has also moved into the area to assist with the search, the release states.
Johnson is based at Camp Pendleton in California. He is a graduate of Stratford High School in Goose Creek.