At least 4 bodies have been recovered after a Pawan Hans helicopter, heading to ONGC’s north field, with seven onboard went missing off the Mumbai coast around 10.35 am on Saturday. The wreckage of the helicopter has been spotted as well.
The helicopter lost contact with the Air Traffic Control (ATC) 15 minutes after taking off. Soon after the helicopter went missing, coast guard and Indian Navy begun the rescue and search operations. The Navy said it had deployed its stealth frigate INS Teg for the search operation while surveillance aircraft P8i is also being press into service.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan are also taking stock of the situation.
The chopper, Dauphin N3, bearing registration number VT-PWA, took off from Juhu aerodrome at 10.25 AM, with five ONGC employees and two pilots onboard, they said.
The chopper was scheduled to land at the designated oil rig at Mumbai High at 11 AM, the sources said.