Pawan Hans chopper crash in Mumbai: Navy and coast guard launch massive search and rescue ops

Around 1.30 pm, the exact location of the wreckage was ascertained and ships were diverted to the area.
Indian Coast Guard personnel search for missing people off the coast of Mumbai.(HT Photo)
Indian Coast Guard personnel search for missing people off the coast of Mumbai.(HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 14, 2018 01:31 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByNeha Tripathi, Mumbai

The Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) launched a massive search and rescue operation soon after the Mumbai air traffic control notified them that it lost contact with a Pawan Hans helicopter carrying seven people, including five Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) employees, around 15 minutes after take-off from the Juhu Aerodrome at 10.14am on Saturday.

Five ICG ships were diverted to the area, while the Indian Navy mobilised Seaking 42B and Seaking 42C helicopters and launched long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft P8i from its base at INS Rajali in Tamil Nadu.

The Indian Navy also deployed stealth frigate INS Teg with medical teams on-board, and fast-attack craft INS Tarasa.

A SKG 42C helicopter was kept on standby at INS Shikra – the naval air station in Colaba. INS Makar, a hydrographic survey vessel, was dispatched from Karwar to determine the exact location of debris.

Intermediate support vessel ISV T45 maintained a distance of 300m from the wreckage.

Around 1.30 pm, the exact location of the wreckage was ascertained and ships were diverted to the area. ICG ship Agrim picked up three bodies near the crash site.

One was identified as Pankaj Garg, an ONGC employee, said an ICG official. Three bodies were recovered later.

“Four aircraft and five ICG ships were deployed. A few ships of there Indian Navy were also sent there,” said commandant Varun Augustya, ICG.

At the time of going to press, efforts to trace the seventh body were ongoing.

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