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Pawan Hans chopper crash: Indian Coast Guard recovers body of ONGC general manager

The search for survivors and aircraft debris has now been terminated by Commander of Coast Guard Region (West).

mumbai Updated: Jan 19, 2018 00:11 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
mumbai,pawan hans,chopper
The Indian Coast Guard recovered the body on the fifth day of its search operations.(HT file photo)

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Thursday recovered the body of the last missing passenger on board the Pawan Hans chopper which crashed on January 13. The body has been identified as that of V K Bindulal Babu, 50, Deputy General Manager, ONGC.

According to the victim’s relative, the body was identified by Babu’s wife, Shyni, and is currently in Cooper Hospital where the post-mortem will be conducted. The funeral will be conducted at the Evershine City crematorium in Vasai on Friday morning.

Varun Augustya, commandant, ICG, said, “We have recovered the mortal remains of all passengers and pilots on board the chopper. Most of the aircraft debris, including critical components such as the landing gear, flight data recorder, main gear box and tail gear box have been recovered by the Coast Guard, ONGC and Naval ships, and handed over for investigation.”

Accordingly, the search for survivors and aircraft debris has now been terminated by Commander of Coast Guard Region (West). The body was recovered on the fifth day of the search for mortal remains of all passengers.

A total of 16 ships (two from the Indian Navy, five from ICG, and nine from ONGC) and four aircrafts (Seaking and Chetak from the Indian Navy, and Dornier from the ICG) were deployed to conduct the search and were in operation since Sunday morning.

On Sunday, an ICG ship recovered the aircraft voice data recorder and some debris 600 yards from the wreckage position. Two fast interceptor aircrafts, INS Teg and INS Tarasa, were deployed in the area to coordinate the search with ICG ships Samudra Prahari, Achook and Agrim, and ONGC assets. Indian Navy Dornier (medium range aircraft) and P8I (long range aircraft) continued to conduct surface searches till all bodies and debris were recovered.

The Coast Guard will continue coordinating with the ONGC and other agencies to ascertain the cause of the crash, said an ICG official.

First Published: Jan 18, 2018 23:56 IST