Saturday, January 13, 2018

At least five dead as chopper with ONGC employees crashes, search ops underway

New Delhi: A Pawan Hans helicopter with five ONGC employees and two pilots on board crashed off the coast of Dahanu near Mumbai on Saturday. So far five bodies have been recovered and search operations for the two other missing are underway.

“5th Body found, being brought back on board ICGS Agrim,” tweeted SpokespersonNavy.

According to officials, the Pawanhans helicopter took off from from the Juhu helibase (HB) at 10.13 am on Saturday. It contacted the radio room HB at 10.18 am and then changed over to Air Traffic Control or ATC, Juhu Mumbai . At 10.45am, ONCG called up Radio Room of the Juhu Helibase appraising that they have lost contact with the chopper.

“Chopper was reportedly was trying to return to Juhu after flying about 30 miles when it lost all contact,” said a senior Defence official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “A BoI will ascertain the exact cause of the tragedy,” added the official.

“ICG ship Agrim picked up three bodies. Debris of helicopter located near Dahanu. Four bodies were recovered by Agrim. Two bodies belonged to passengers. They have been identified as Pankaj Garg and Bindulal Babu. Two ICG helicopters, two Dornier aircraft and five ships have been pressed in,” said Coast Guard Commander Western Seaboard, Additional Director General Krishnaswamy Natarajan.

Sources added that while Garg’s body was identified by his identity card, Babu’s was identified through his driving license found in the wallet. The other three passengers on-board the ill-fated aircraft are- Sarvannan, Jose Anthony and P Shrinivasan. “Search and rescue operations are underway to locate them. With every passing hour, the possibility of rescuing them alive bleaks,” added the official.
13/01/18 Indian Express