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The Coast Guard has recovered bodies of four people on-board. The Pawan Hans chopper that was heading to ONGC‘s north field went missing off the Mumbai coast this morning. The Dauphin N3, Pawan Hans chopper had 5 ONGC employees and and two pilots on board that went missing after taking off from Juhu aerodrome at 10.30 AM. The chopper, bearing registration number VT-PWA, was scheduled to land at the designated oil rig at Mumbai High at 11 am.
A senior Coast Guard official said that four bodies have been found and search operation is underway to locate remaining three persons.
The debris of the chopper, has also been located by the Coast Guard ship, ANI reported. India Today news channel reported that three ships and three helicopters are involved in a large-scale search and rescue operation, which is underway.
two bodies identified by the id card in the wallet are VK Bindulal Babu and Pankaj Garg. The report further revealed names of other employees who were on the chopper: Sarvannan, Jose Anthony, and P Shrinivasan.
A senior Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official said that the aircraft accident investigation body AAIB will probe the Pawan Hans chopper crash.
“Since it is a clear accident, this chopper crash will be probed by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau(AAIB),” the official said.
He said the DGCA will extend all necessary help to the AAIB in conducting the probe.
AAIB is the apex body which probes serious incidents and accidents involving aircraft registered in India and comes under the civil aviation ministry.
The Petroleum Ministry too swung into action rushing the Chairman and Managing Director of ONGC to Mumbai.
“Spoke to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman & requested for help from Coast Guard and other agencies in the search and rescue operations; CMD ONGC has rushed to Mumbai,” Union Petroleum and Natural Gas minister, Dharmendra Pradhan tweeted.