The bodies of four Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) officials, a pilot and a sixth person, which is undergoing the identification process, have been found after the helicopter they were aboard crashed Jan. 13, the company reported Jan. 14.
The search continues for the second pilot of the Pawan Hans chopper. The Coast Guard, Indian Navy and ONGC are jointly conducting the search.
The bodies have been identified as ONGC executives P N Srinivasan, R Saravanan, Jose Antony, Pankaj Garg, and pilot Capt. R Ohatkar.
“During the search and rescue (SAR) operations on Jan. 14, 2018, the [voice data recorder] of the chopper has been recovered. Search operation is on for the remaining debris of the production chopper VT – PWA,” ONGC said in the news release.
The Times of India reported the Pawan Hans helicopter crashed in the Arabian Sea about 55 km northwest of the Juhu airport the morning of Jan. 13. The helicopter, identified as a Dauphin AS 365 N3 twin-engine helicopter, was en route to a production platform complex in Bombay High. The complex is about 93 km offshore.
Citing ONGC, the media outlet reported the last contact with the helicopter was at 10:33 a.m. The chopper took off from Juhu at 10:14 a.m. and radio-communicated with Juhu air traffic control at 10:26 a.m., changing the communication frequency to make contact with the ONGC air control room as per procedure.
“ONGC is extending all possible help to the bereaved families in this hour of grief and crisis,” the company said.