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Published On: Sun, Jan 14th, 2018

Pawan Hans chopper crashes ; 4 bodies found

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653828-chopper-1MUMBAI : A Pawan Hans helicopter with at least five Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) officials and two pilots onboard crashed shortly after take-off from Juhu Airport here on Saturday.
According to the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), at least four bodies have been recovered from the debris of the ill-fated ONGC chopper near the sea coast. Those onboard the ill-fated chopper have been identified as R Saravanan, V K Babu, Jose Anthony, Pankaj Garg and P Shrinivasan. All are top-ranking ONGC employees.

Meanwhile, the two pilots of the chopper have been identified as Captain Ohatkar and Captain Katoch.  Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas said, ”It is a sad and painful incident for ONGC. Information received till now shows that four bodies have been recovered.”
The minister also met the family members of one of those ONGC employees who lost their lives in the helicopter crash. A massive search and rescue operation involving five ships, 2 Dornier aircraft and two helicopters is currently on to trace those missing, an official spokesperson of the ICG said.
According to latest reports, the wreckage of the Pawan Hans Helicopter on ONGC duty has been spotted. An ICG official confirmed that part of the chopper wreckage was found near Uttan Beach, in Thane district.Rescuers and divers from the Indian Coast Guard are continuing the search for those missing.

Earlier, ICG ship Agrim managed to recover three bodies from the Arabian Sea, including one of a passenger named Pankaj Garg, while the search continues for the remaining four missing.

The Dauphin chopper took off at 10.20 am 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 the ONGC’s Bombay High oilfields, around 175 km northwest from here.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expressed grief over the loss of lives in the boat capsize incident off the Dahanu coast and Pawan Hans helicopter crash off the Mumbai coast today.

“Sad to know about capsizing of boat carrying school children of K L Ponda High School, Dahanu at Dahanu Parnaka Beach. 31 children have been rescued. Search operation is still on with local police and administration,” Fadnavis tweeted.
Three girls drowned and five went missing after a private boat with 40 students, who were on a school picnic, capsized this morning off the coast of Dahanu in Palghar district.





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