Helicopter carrying 7 goes missing off Mumbai coast, search underway

Sergio Conner
January 13, 2018

A Pawan Hans chopper with seven people on board went missing in Mumbai soon after take-off from the Juhu airport on Saturday, according to media reports.

The ONGC has alerted the Indian Coast Guard about the situation, and a search operation is now underway. The Dauphin helicopter lost contact with Air Traffic Control around 10.35 am almost 30 nautical miles off Mumbai. The pilot was in touch with the oil rig air traffic control around 10:30 am.

The chopper, Dauphin N3, bearing registration number VT-PWA, took off from Juhu aerodrome at 10.25 am, with five ONGC employees and two pilots. The Coast Guard, which was pressed in rescue and search operation, has confirmed that the debris of the chopper has been found and three bodies have been recovered.

Sources said the helicopter was on a normal sortie and was supposed to reach the oil rig at Bombay High at 11 am.

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No contact could be established after 10.30 AM.

Search operations for the chopper are underway.

"A Dornier aircraft and helicopters from Daman (near Dahanu) have also been launched", a Coast Guard spokesperson said. "It is a Pawan Hans chopper, carrying five employees".

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