The Indian Coast guard recovered four bodies after it located the debris of a helicopter that went missing with seven on board – two pilots and five employees of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation – off the coast of Mumbai on Saturday.
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. It was scheduled to land at ONGC’s North Field oil rig at 10.58 am, but did not, The Indian Express reported.
It was 30 nautical miles off the coast of Mumbai when it went missing. The Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy are carrying out search and rescue operations together.
Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters that he was headed to Mumbai to help coordinate the search operations. “I will discuss it with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman,” he said. “She is also cooperating and has instructed the Navy Coast Guard to look into the matter extensively.”
Earlier, a senior ONGC official RK Mishra had said the company had deployed all its choppers, “including ones from each of our naval bases”, to search for the missing helicopter.