A Pawan Hans chopper with nine people on board crashed into the Arabian Sea near ONGC Sagar Kiran rig on Tuesday morning. Four people have lost their lives. The four deceased have been identified as ONGC officials Mukesh Patel, Vijay Mandloi, Satyambad Patra and a contract worker named Sanju Francis. “Four persons rescued by Navy chopper were brought to the base unconsciously and taken to the hospital. Unfortunately, they could not survive,” ONGC said in a statement. Satyambada from Malkangiri district had married last year and his wife is three months pregnant.
In a statement, ONGC said the chopper had made an “emergency landing” around 11.45 am on Arabian Sea, one nautical mile away from ONGC offshore rig Sagar Kiran. The oil major activated a contingency plan and the Indian Navy and Coast Guard were informed. The chopper was carrying at least seven passengers and two pilots. The rescue was carried out by ONGC vessel Malviya-16 and a boat from the oil rig Sagar Kiran, while the Indian Coast Guard also deployed its aerial and marine assets in the efforts.
The survivors have been shifted to Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital.
The cause of the emergency landing on water, whether related to weather or technical issues, is not immediately clear, according to ONGC officials in Mumbai and New Delhi.
As per a report on PTI, ONGC employees were travelling in a brand new, one of six Sikorsky S-76D helicopters that Pawan Hans had recently leased from the Milestone Aviation Group. The Sikorsky S-76 is the same generation of helicopter in which Basketball star Kobe Bryant died in 2020. However, the helicopter he was riding was the S-76B as against the S-76D of ONGC.