Mumbai: A Pawan Hans helicopter, which was heading to ONGC’s north field with seven persons onboard, went missing off the Mumbai coast on Saturday, official sources said.
The chopper, Dauphin N3, bearing registration number VT-PWA, took off from Juhu aerodrome at 10.25 AM, with five ONGC employees and two pilots onboard, they said. The chopper was scheduled to land at the designated oil rig at Mumbai High at 11 AM, the sources said. Search operations are on, they added.
The Navy said it had deployed its stealth frigate INS Tegfor the search operation while surveillance aircraft P8i is also being press into service.The Coast Guard said that it has diverted ships which were at sea and also those sailing from Mumbai.
“A Dornier aircraft and helicopters from Daman (near Dahanu) have also been launched,” a Coast Guard spokesperson said. The spokesperson added that “some debris has been located”, but did not say if it belonged to the chopper. Four bodies have been recovered from the site. Rescue operation is still going on.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman assured that all possible assitance will be provided by Indian Navy and Indian Coastal Guard.