An undated handout composite photo made available by the Australian Department of Defence on 31 July 2023 shows (L-R) Australian Army soldier Corporal Alex Naggs, Australian Army officer Lieutenant Maxwell Nugent and Australian Army soldier Warrant Officer Class 2 Joseph Laycock, who went missing after their Taipan MRH-90 helicopter crashed near Queensland's Hamilton Island on 28 July 2023. EFE/EPA/AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE HANDOUT --MANDATORY CREDIT: AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE -- AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

Human remains found near the crash site of an Australian military helicopter

Sydney, Australia, Aug 3 (EFE).- Australian authorities reported on Thursday the discovery of human remains near the place where a helicopter with four soldiers on board crashed last week while carrying out maneuvers in the northeastern part of the country.

Australian Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles (L) and Chief of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) General Angus Campbell hold a joint press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia, 31 July 2023. EFE/EPA/FILE/MICK TSIKAS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

A remote-controlled underwater vehicle, which is involved in the recovery efforts, has observed unidentified human remains near the crash site, Australian Defence Force Chief of Joint Operations Greg Bilton told reporters in Brisbane.

“Due to the nature of the debris field positive identification of the remains is unlikely to occur until we recover more of the wreckage,” said Bilton.

In these operations, crews have also recovered pieces from the crashed MRH-90 Taipan helicopter, including parts of the cockpit and fuselage.

The four servicemen were flying over Australian waters during international training maneuvers on Friday night when their MRH-90 Taipan helicopter plunged into the sea near Hamilton Island, some 890 kilometers (553 miles) from the Queensland state capital city of Brisbane.

An investigation was launched into the incident and the entire fleet of 45 MRH-90 Taipan has been grounded.

That incident occurred two months after the Australian government announced that it would replace its fleet of Taipan military helicopters with 40 Black Hawks.