Helicopter carrying ONGC employees crashes

Family and friends at the funeral of ONGC deputy general manager P N Sreenivasan in Mumbai Sunday

Family and friends at the funeral of ONGC deputy general manager P N Sreenivasan in Mumbai Sunday

In total, there were a total of seven people, including five ONGC employees, on board the helicopter which crashed off the Mumbai coast early on Saturday.

According to the official statement issued in the evening, five bodies have been recovered so far and search operation is on for other missing persons.

Rescuers on ships found some life jackets and continued to look for the three missing people, he said.

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The last contact with the Air Traffic Control (ATC) was made at around 10.30 am, 30 nautical miles off Mumbai. An ONGC official, requesting anonymity, said employees engaged in offshore operations undergo a mandatory training on survival in sea and an helicopter underwater egress training and test once every 3-4 years. The helicopter lost contact with the air traffic control today shortly after take-off from Juhu Aerodrome at 10:20 AM this morning. On receiving the information, Coast Guard Station at Dahanu immediately initiated search and rescue efforts whilst co-ordinating with local authorities. After receiving the missing report, a search operation was started with support from the coast guard and the Indian navy.

The Coast Guard said that it has diverted ships which were at sea and also those sailing from Mumbai.

The helicopter, headed for the oil rig "NQO" in Mumbai High North, 92 miles northwest of Mumbai, was scheduled to land at 11am. Four bodies are recovered by ships at crash site.

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The helicopter crash is not the first accident in ONGC's history.

A team from the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau is expected to reach Mumbai from Delhi on Sunday to probe the accident. "Seaking 42B helicopter being launched in addition" Navy spokesperson stated.

The coast guard is expected to begin search and rescue operations soon, report adds.

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