Top of­fi­cers of ONGC among 5 killed in copter crash

The Asian Age - - Front Page - AGE COR­RE­SPON­DENT

A Pawan Hans he­li­copter with seven peo­ple on- board, in­clud­ing five ONGC of­fi­cers and two pilots, crashed off the Mumbai coast min­utes af­ter it took off for the state- owned com­pany’s oil in­stal­la­tion in the Ara­bian sea.

So far, five bod­ies have been re­cov­ered and search op­er­a­tions are on for oth­ers.

ONGC, Coast Guard and Navy pressed he­li­copters and speed boats as soon as the in­for­ma­tion of the chopper go­ing miss­ing was re­ceived at the Juhu he­libase.

Of­fi­cials said that they are still try­ing to re­con­struct the last mo­ments be­fore the mishap oc­curred. The he­li­copter lost con­tact with the air traf­fic con­trol shortly af­ter it took off from the Juhu Aero­drome at 10.20 am. It is be­lieved to have crashed into the Ara­bian Sea at 10.40 am.

ONGC of­fi­cials said that he­li­copters are of­ten used to ferry the com­pany’s em­ploy­ees for rou­tine in­spec­tions to as far as 160 kms off­shore.

A Pawan Hans he­li­copter crashed off the Mumbai coast on Satur­day morn­ing with seven peo­ple on board, in­clud­ing two pilots. The he­li­copter lost con­tact with the air traf­fic con­trol shortly af­ter it took off from the Juhu Aero­drome at 10.20 am. It is be­lieved to have crashed into the Ara­bian Sea at 10.40 am. Of­fi­cials said that they are still try­ing to re­con­struct the last mo­ments be­fore the mishap oc­curred. Among those on board were of­fi­cials from the Oil and Nat­u­ral Gas Cor­po­ra­tion ( ONGC), who were headed for the off­shore de­vel­op­ment area in the north fields of Mumbai High and two pilots.

The In­dian Navy, the Coast Guard launched search and res­cue op­er­a­tions and the bod­ies of ONGC deputy gen­eral man­ager Pankaj Garg and V. K. Bindu Lal Babu were re­cov­ered near the de­bris of the chopper. R. Sar­a­vanan, P. N. Sreeni­vasan, Jose An­thony and pilots Cap­tain Ohatkar and Cap­tain Ka­toch were also on board. Four of the five bod­ies re­cov­ered have been brought to Nana­vati Hos­pi­tal, said sources and will be handed over to the fam­i­lies af­ter post mortem. The search for the re­main­ing two bod­ies is still on.

The he­li­copter was sup­posed to land at Bom­bay High at 11 am and com­mu­ni­ca­tion was nor­mal un­til ONGC’s check point “Papa,” but was lost im­me­di­ately af­ter it was 15 min­utes in air and 30 nau­ti­cal miles off shore. Of­fi­cials said that he­li­copters are of­ten used to ferry the com­pany’s em­ploy­ees for rou­tine in­spec­tions to as far as 160 kms off­shore.

The ONGC state­ment said, “Dauphin N3 he­li­copter had taken off from Juhu he­libase and was sched­uled to land at Mumbai High. ONGC con­firms that the Pawan Hans chopper with seven per­sons, in­clud­ing two pilots, and five ONGC of­fi­cers crashed in the sea to­day morn­ing. ONGC pressed into ac­tion all re­sources to con­duct search op­er­a­tions im­me­di­ately.”

It fur­ther stated, “Four bod­ies have been re­cov­ered so far and search op­er­a­tion is on for other miss­ing per­sons. ONGC ves­sels and chop­pers along with coast guard and In­dian Navy are comb­ing the area...”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.