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3 bodies recovered as chopper with ONGC staff on board, crashes

3 bodies recovered as chopper with ONGC staff on board, crashes

Indian Coast Guard said some debris has been found and the search for missing persons is underway. "Debris located by CG Ship and one body recovered", Coast Guard was quoted as saying by ANI.

According to Indian Coast Guard, the last contact made by the chopper with the Air Traffic Control (ATC) and ONGC was at 1035 hrs. "There has been no contact with the helicopter since 10.30 am, by when it was about 50 kms off the coast of Mumbai", the source. The pilot was in touch with the oil rig air traffic control around 10:30 am.

The Navy said it had deployed its stealth frigate INS Teg for the search operation while surveillance aircraft P8i has also been press into service.

The ONGC has alerted the Indian Coast Guard about the situation, and a search operation is now underway.

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The Times of India reported that two pilots and five ONGC employees were on board.

Sources said the helicopter - a Dauphin N3, bearing registration number VT-PWA - was on a normal sortie and was supposed to reach the oil rig at Bombay High at 11 am.

Search operations are on, they added. Meanwhile, Pawan Hans and ONGC have not issued a statement as of yet.


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