Chopper goes missing off Mumbai coast, 3 bodies recovered

Chopper goes missing off Mumbai coast, 3 bodies recovered

Mumbai: A Pawan Hans helicopter crashed off the Mumbai coast on Saturday morning with seven people on board, including two pilots.

The last contact with the Air Traffic Control (ATC) was made at about 10.30 am, 30 nautical miles off Mumbai.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a tweet said Indian Navy and India Coast Guard are extending all possible assistance in the search and rescue operations. Of the four bodies found, one is said to be a senior ONGC official, reported ANI. ONGC immediately pressed its helicopter and speedboats for a search operation. "A decision on bringing the body to Kothamangalam will be taken by the relatives", a relative of Jose told Express. The helicopter had 3 hour and 10 minutes of fuel onboard.

Speaking on the matter, Dharmendra Pradhan said, "Navy and Coast Guard are on their job".

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The minister also met the family members of one of those ONGC employees who lost their lives in the helicopter crash. Indian Navy has also deployed a water jet fast attack craft, along with a Boeing P8i aircraft and Sea King helicopter. "Meanwhile the diving team ex-INS Teg is standby", said the Navy official.

The company in its statement added, it is yet to ascertain the reason behind the unfortunate incident.

"VTPWA Dauphin AS 365 N3 was scheduled to land at North Field of ONGC at 10.58am but didn't land at the scheduled time". Four bodies were recovered by Agrim. Choppers and Immediate Support Vessels or ISVs have been deployed. "Aircraft Voice Data Recorder (VDR) has been recovered and recovery of balance debris is in progress", a Coast Guard spokesperson said today.

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