New Delhi: A Pawan Hans helicopter carrying five senior officials of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and two pilots crashed off the Mumbai coast minutes after it took off. So far, six bodies have been recovered.
The police informed that the bodies have been brought to Cooper Hospital for postmortem.
“Out of six bodies, five has been identified. The search for one missing is still underway”, a senior police inspector said.
Currently, four Indian Naval ships (Teg, Tarasa, T 11 and T 45) are undertaking the search in the area.
INS Teg also has Chetak helicopter and diving teams embarked onboard to augment the search efforts.
One IN Dornier aircraft has completed the search and one P8I Long Range aircraft has conjoined the search with two SAR kits.
Further, Indian Coast Guard ships and aircraft are also deployed for SAR. INS Makar, a special hydrographic ship, has left Karwar to augment the search for any sunken wreck from today onwards. Additional ships and aircraft are being kept ready at Mumbai for deployment as and when required.
A total of seven people were on-board in the Pawan Hans Dauphin N2 that crashed and a total of four bodies have been recovered so far.
Meanwhile, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) identified two of the bodies to be of ONGC employees.
In total, there were seven people, including five ONGC employees, which crashed off the Mumbai coast.
The ONGC, along with the ICG and the Indian Navy, has pressed its helicopter and speedboats for search operations.
The helicopter, which took off from Juhu at 10.20 am, was scheduled to land at ONGC’s North Field oil rig at 10.58 am.
The last contact with the Air Traffic Control (ATC) was made at about 10.30 am, 30 nautical miles off Mumbai. The cause of the tragic incident is still unknown.