Pawan Hans chopper with 7 onboard crashes off Mumbai coast; 5 bodies found, search on

Mumbai: 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) and Navy, at least five bodies have been recovered from the debris of the ill-fated ONGC chopper near the sea coast.

Meanwhile, a massive search operation is still on for other missing persons.

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.

Those onboard the ill-fated chopper have been identified as R Saravanan, V K Babu, Jose Anthony, Pankaj Garg and P Shrinivasan.

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.

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 India...

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