A helicopter with seven people on board, including five ONGC employees, went missing after it took off from Juhu airport in Mumbai on Saturday morning. Three bodies have been recovered, the Coast Guard said.
As per reports, the Pawan Hans helicopter was airborne at 10.20am, and it lost contact with air traffic control 15 minutes later. At the time, it was 30 nautical miles off Mumbai.
Sources said the helicopter — a Dauphin N3, bearing registration number VT-PWA — was on a normal sortie and was supposed to reach the oil rig at Bombay High at 11 am.
The Navy said it had deployed its stealth frigate INS Teg for the search operation while surveillance aircraft P8i is also being press into service.
“A Dornier aircraft and helicopters from Daman (near Dahanu) have also been launched,” a Coast Guard spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that “some debris has been located”, but did not say if it belonged to the chopper
Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan tweeted: “Spoke to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and requested for help from Coast Guard and other agencies in the search and rescue operations; CMD ONGC has rushed to Mumbai.”