Four people dead as a helicopter carrying seven people, including ONGC employees, has crashed 22 miles off Mumbai coast on Saturday. Two of the four bodies have been identified.
The bodies of the four people, including a senior ONGC officer, and the debris of the chopper have been found, Coast Guard officials said.
According to reports, the chopper (VT PWA), with 2 pilots and 5 passengers workers hasn't landed at the designated oil rig and there is no information about its whereabouts.
As per reports, the helicopter was airborne at 10.20am, and it lost contact with air traffic control 15 minutes later. At the time, it was 30 nautical miles off Mumbai.
Sources said the helicopter was on a normal sortie and was supposed to reach the oil rig at Bombay High at 11 am.
#UPDATE The helicopter took off from Juhu at 10.20 am & was scheduled to land at North Field of ONGC at 10.58 but didn't reach there. No contact could be established after 10.30 am. Search underway. #Mumbai— ANI (@ANI) January 13, 2018
The chopper has lost contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC) 30 nautical miles off Mumbai. The ONGC has alerted the Indian Coast Guard in this regard.
The Coast Guard has been alerted and a search operation is on, the sources said. However, a statement from Pawan Hans and ONGC is awaited.
"Two immediate support vessels deployed for patrol in the area have been diverted for search and rescue along with 3 Coast Guard units," Navy spkesperson told ANI.
Following the incident, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan spoke to Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Navy & Coast Guard are on their job. I am also going to Mumbai to coordinate things. I will discuss it with Defense Minister. She is also cooperating & has instructed Navy & Coast Guard to look into the issue extensively:Dharmendra Pradhan on crash of ONGC's Pawan Hans Helicopter pic.twitter.com/XZeBDXehUJ— ANI (@ANI) January 13, 2018
In the latest update, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted saying all posible assistance is being extended in the rescue operations.