5 killed as Pawan Hans he­li­copter crashes off Mumbai coast

■ The ONGC of­fi­cers - all Deputy Gen­eral Man­agers, have been iden­ti­fied as Sar­vananan, V K Babu, Jose An­thony, Garg and P Srini­vasan

The Hitavada - - NATION -

AT LEAST five peo­ple were killed when a Pawan Hans he­li­copter with at least five top ONGC of­fi­cials and two pilots on board crashed shortly af­ter take-off from Juhu Air­port here on Satur­day morn­ing, of­fi­cials said.

A mas­sive sea and aerial search op­er­a­tion launched by In­dian Coast Guard and other agen­cies, had, till Satur­day evening, found five bod­ies be­sides some wreck­age of the the crashed chopper and life-jack­ets.

In­dian Coast Guard ship Agrim has re­cov­ered some of the bod­ies, in­clud­ing of an of­fi­cial iden­ti­fied as Pankaj Garg from the crash, while a search con­tin­ues for the other miss­ing.

The ONGC of­fi­cers - all Deputy Gen­eral Man­agers, have been iden­ti­fied as Sar­vananan, V K Babu, Jose An­thony, Garg and P Srini­vasan, be­sides the Pawan Hans pilots whose iden­tity is not known yet. A Coast Guard of­fi­cial said parts of the de­bris of the chopper have been found near Ut­tan Beach in Thane district.

The Dauphin chopper took off at 10.20 am but just 15 min­utes later, it sud­denly lost con­tact with both the Mumbai ATC and the Oil and Nat­u­ral Gas Cor­po­ra­tion (ONGC). At that time, it was re­ported to be fly­ing around 55 km off the Mumbai shore­line, on a reg­u­lar sor­tie to ferry the of­fi­cers to the ONGC’s Bom­bay High oil­fields, around 175 km north­west from here. Four In­dian Navy ships in­clud­ing wa­ter­jet fast at­tack craft INS Tarasa, a Boe­ing P8i and a Seak­ing he­li­copter joined the search op­er­a­tions, while the Coast Guard de­ployed five ships and two Dornier air­craft and two he­li­copters to the crash re­gion for the search and res­cue op­er­a­tion which con­tin­ued this evening, said an of­fi­cial spokesper­son.

A pall of gloom de­scended at Sil­ver Square CHS in Kalina, San­tacruz east where Garg, 50, had been liv­ing since 15 years with his wife, a mi­nor daugh­ter be­sides a grown-up daugh­ter study­ing in an en­gi­neer­ing col­lege out of Ma­ha­rash­tra.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.