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Helicopter with five ONGC personnel, two pilots, crashes off Mumbai; four bodies found

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A Pawan Hans helicopter with seven persons on board, including five employees of the public sector Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and two pilots, crashed into the Arabian Sea this morning and search and rescue teams have recovered four bodies so far.
 
The helicopter was on its way from the Juhu airport here to an oil rig in Bombay High when it was reported missing.
 
According to various accounts, the helicopter had last made contact with the air traffic control on the rig at around 10.30 am.
 
Massive search operations, involving ships and aircraft of the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) were launched immediately to look for the missing helicopter.
 
The ICG, which had deployed five ships and two aircraft in the extensive search and rescue (SAR) operations in the area where the helicopter was last reported, said the wreckage of the aircraft had been located by one its ships and four bodies had been recovered so far. It said that one of the bodies had been identified as that of an ONGC official.
 
Two Indian Navy vessels on patrol duty in the area were also engaged in the SAR efforts.
 
Indian Navy sources said one more ship was leaving Mumbai harbour and a Dornier aircraft was getting airborne to join the search. A P8I aircraft was also being launched for the search operations. One Seaking 42C helicopter was standing by at Colaba air station in Mumbai, they said.
 
They said stealth frigate INS Teg was leaving for the search area with medical teams on board.
 
NNN
 
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