A Pawan Hans helicopter carrying seven people, including five senior ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) officers, crashed in the Arabian Sea on Saturday morning. Four bodies have been recovered from the sea after the debris of the chopper was located, according to the Coast Guard.
The chopper, Dauphin N3, bearing registration number VT-PWA was on way to the offshore site of ONGC from the Juhu helicopter base and went missing after took off from Juhu airport at 10.25 am in Mumbai.
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.
Spoke to Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharamanji & requested for help from Coast Guard and other agencies in the search and rescue operations ;CMDONGC has rushed to Mumbai;pray for safety of the ONGC officers and the pilots pic.twitter.com/sBNwfHGP0a— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) January 13, 2018