ONGC chopper, with seven on board crashes in Mumbai

Mumbai helicopter missing ONGC CMD rushes to Mumbai

Five senior officials of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) died after a Pawan Hans Helicopter they were boarded at crashed in the Arabian Sea on Saturday.

No contact could be established after 10.30 AM. Five bodies have been recovered.

Four more coast guard ships based at Mumbai (ICGS Samudra Prahari, ICGS Achook, ICGS C-154 and ICGS C-434) apart from ICGS Agrim were pressed into service and reached the datum to widen the search parameter. "She is also cooperating and has instructed the Navy and the Coast Guard to look into the issue extensively", Pradhan said.

"So far resulted in 03 body recovery".

As per last inputs, the wreckage has been located in position 37 nautical miles from Mumbai and four dead bodies have been recovered so far (as on 1430 h on 13 Jan 18). But since Juhu airport has no night landing facility it was shut down at 6.40pm.

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As the news of the crash spread, several ONGC employees gathered at the homes of the missing officials.

Jose has been serving as the deputy general manager at the ONGC.

"Since it is a clear accident, this chopper crash will be probed by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB)", the official said. In addition, two Seaking helicopters are involved in the SAR efforts in rotation from Naval Air Station Shikra.

Meanwhile, the two pilots of the chopper have been identified as Captain Ohatkar and Captain Katoch. "For over two years now, Safran engines installed in Dauphins have been suffering from start-up problems". A senior helicopter pilot said though it was daylight, disorientation can not be ruled out. In this chopper oil producer, ONGC holds 49% of stake.

The helicopter had been leased to ONGC by the state-owned Pawan Hans helicopter firm, in which the oil producer holds 49 percent stake.

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