The bodies of five senior Oil and National Gas Co. (ONGC) staff and one of their helicopter pilots have been recovered followed a crash offshore Mumbai, India, on Saturday.
ONGC's Twitter announced today (15 January) that a seventh body has been found and brought to Mumbai, India.
The crash, on Saturday, 13 January, happened when the Pawan Hans helicopter was traveling to an oil facility northwest of Mumbai from the onfshore Juhu Helibase, ONGC says. It's reported to be a 14-seater VTPWF Dauphin helicopter.
The ONGC officials identified as being killed in the crash include P N Srinivasan, R Saravanan, Jose Antony, and Pankaj Garg, the company said in a statement. The pilot, Capt. R Ohatkar, was also identified.
During search and rescue (SAR) operations yesterday (14 January), the voice data recorder of the helicopter was recovered. The search continues for the remaining debris of the helicopter VT – PWA.
ONGC broke news of the crash via Twitter on Saturday. It stated that: "A Pawan Hans Helicopter carrying five senior ONGC officers to offshore from Juhu Helibase went missing around 10.40 hours today."
A Pawan Hans Helicopter carrying five senior ONGC officers to Offshore from Juhu Helibase went missing around 10.40 hours today.— ONGC (@ONGC_) January 13, 2018
According to Asian News International, the helicopter lost contact with Air Traffic Contol 30nm off Mumbai.
On Saturday, ONGC said that the helicopter was carrying five senior ONGC officers had gone missing and that search a helicopter and speedboats were immediately mobilized. The search involved five speedboats, one multipurpose support vessel, and a helicopter. The Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy also took part in the search, deploying helicopters and rescue boats.
The cause of the crash has yet to be ascertained. Shashi Shanker, CMD at ONGC, has been overseeing operations has said that a high level independent investigation will be launched to find out the cause of the crash.
"ONGC is extending all possible help to the bereaved families in this hour of grief and crisis," said the firm.