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ONGC helicopter with nine on board makes emergency landing in Arabian Sea, four dead

Six of the nine persons have been rescued so far and attempts are on to bring the others to safety, the company official said.

Six of the nine persons have been rescued so far and attempts are on to bring the others to safety, the company official said. (Representational Image)

Four people were killed after a Pawan Hans helicopter, with two pilots and seven others including six ONGC employees onboard, fell into the Arabian Sea about 50 nautical miles from the Mumbai coast but managed to stay afloat with the help of the attached floaters.

Four of the nine rescued by ONGC and Navy vessels were unconscious and taken to hospital who latter succumbed to their injuries.

“A Pawan Hans helicopter with seven ONGC passengers and two crew members crashed near Sagar Kiran oil rig. In the rescue operations, three ONGC employees and both crew members were saved. Three employees and one temporary ONGC worker succumbed. Their bodies have been taken to Cooper Hospital,” said Juhu airport director A K Verma.

The helicopter crashed in the Arabian Sea near the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) rig at Sagar Kiran in Mumbai High, the company said in a tweet. All nine were rescued in the rescue operation undertaken by the Coast Guards and Indian Navy. Four of them were injured and were taken to hospital in unconscious condition.

The helicopter had taken off from Juhu with seven personnel working for ONGC and two pilots, Juhu airport director A K Verma said. The helicopter was a brand new Sikorsky S 76 D with the call sign VT- PWI and was operated by Pawan Hans.

The helicopter, which had six ONGC personnel onboard, and one belonging to a contractor working for the company, was forced to land using the floaters that are attached to such coppers that carry personnel and material from shore to offshore installations. The circumstances that led to the emergency landing were not immediately clear.

A Coast Guard spokesperson said that Ocean Support vessel Malviya 16 was diverted by Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), Mumbai, to join the rescue operations and picked up two survivors. MRCC (Mumbai) also activated the International Safety Net.

While a guard ship at sea was diverted, another ship sailed out from Mumbai with dispatch to join the rescue operations.

ONGC has several rigs and installations in the Arabia Sea that are used to produce oil and gas from reservoirs lying below the seabed.

“#Helicopter mishap in #Arabian Sea near #ONGC rig Sagar Kiran in #Mumbai High; carrying 7 passengers & 2 pilots. Four rescued. Rescue operations in full swing,” ONGC tweeted. 

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