1st LD Writethru: Helicopter with 7 on board goes missing in India

1st LD Writethru: Helicopter with 7 on board goes missing in India

Mumbai: A Pawan Hans helicopter with at least five ONGC officials and two pilots on board crashed shortly after take-off from Juhu Airport here on Saturday.

The ONGC has alerted the Indian Coast Guard in this regard, says a The Times of India report. Choppers and aircraft from other bases were also deployed to search the missing copter. "Debris located by CG Ship and one body recovered", Coast Guard was quoted as saying by ANI.

"Search for the missing civil helicopter is going on", a spokesman for the Indian navy said.

The chopper has lost contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC) 30 nautical miles off Mumbai.

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Search operations for the chopper are underway.

"A Dornier aircraft and helicopters from Daman (near Dahanu) have also been launched", a Coast Guard spokesperson said.

The chopper with pilot, co-pilot and five ONGC employees took off from Juhu aerodrome at 10.20 hrs this morning. The last contact it established was around 10.30 am, with an air traffic control manned from an oil rig.

The helicopter belongs to state-run company Pawan Hans, which operates a fleet of helicopters for off-shore operations, charter services and ferrying pilgrims to shrines in mountainous areas.

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