Pawan Hans chopper goes missing

Helicopter with 5 ONGC employees goes missing

Three people dead as a helicopter carrying seven people, including ONGC employees, has crashed 22 miles off Mumbai coast on Saturday.

It was reportedly 30 nautical miles off the western coast before going off-radar.

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. However, a statement from Pawan Hans and ONGC is awaited. The Dauphin helicopter lost contact with Air Traffic Control around 10.35 am almost 30 nautical miles off Mumbai. "Debris located by CG Ship and one body recovered", Coast Guard was quoted as saying by ANI.

Among the passengers were some officials of the Oil And Natural Gas Corporation or ONGC.

The chopper - VTPWA Dauphin AS365 N3 - took off from the Pawan Hans airbase in Juhu at 10.20 am and last made contact with the Air Traffic Control at 10.35 am. After that, they were in touch with the rig air traffic controller for up to 9km, about 2 mins. "Wish for their safety", Nirmala Sitharaman, India's defence minister, said on Twitter.

The ONGC has alerted the Indian Coast Guard in this regard.

The coast guard is expected to begin search and rescue operations soon, report adds.

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