Chopper with ONGC officials crashes, six bodies found

A Pawan Hans helicopter carrying five senior officials of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and two pilots crashed near Uttan off the coast of Mumbai on Saturday. Six bodies were found by late evening. Search operations are on for the one body not found yet. The bodies of ONGC deputy general managers Pankaj Garg and V K Bindu Lal Babu were recovered near the debris of the chopper and identified by afternoon.

The others on board were deputy general managers R Saravanan, P N Sreenivasan, Jose Antony, and pilots Captain Ramesh Ohatkar and Captain V C Katoch. Garg’s body was identified by his identity card, while Babu was identified by his driving licence found in his wallet. By Saturday night, bodies of Sreenivasan and Antony were identified. Doctors at Nanavati Hospital, where the bodies were taken, said their poor condition made identification difficult for family members.

According to sources, the helicopter — a Dauphin N3 bearing registration number VT-PWA – was supposed to reach the oil rig at Bombay High at 11 am. According to officials, the Pawan Hans helicopter took off from the Juhu helibase at 10.13 am. It contacted the helibase radio room at 10.18 am and then changed over to Air Traffic Control Juhu. At 10.45 am, ONGC called the radio room of the helibase saying they had lost contact with the chopper.

A prima facie investigation by the Directorate General fo...

More on