New Delhi: A brand new Pawan Hans helicopter owned by ONGC carrying nine persons, including two pilots, fell into the sea on Tuesday while attempting to land on the company's rig in the Arabian Sea, the company said. A total of four people have been killed in the mishap, while five have survived, said ONGC in a statement in the evening.
"Four persons rescued by the Navy chopper were brought to the base unconscious and were taken to the hospital. Unfortunately, they could not survive. ONGC deeply mourns this tragic loss of lives. ONGC is reaching out to the affected families and extending all possible support," said the oil major.
"An enquiry has been instituted," it added.
The helicopter, which had six ONGC personnel onboard, and one belonging to a contractor working for the company, was forced to land using the floaters that are attached to choppers that carry personnel and material from shore to offshore installations. According to sources, the helicopter was a brand new Pawan Hans Sikorsky chopper S-76D. Sikorsky is a subsidiary company of Lockheed Martin. Pawan Hans had recently leased six Sikorsky S-76D choppers from Milestone Aviation.
The chopper was attempting to land at the rig, located some 50 nautical miles from the Mumbai coast, when the incident took place. About 1.5 km from the landing zone on the rig, the chopper fell into the sea, the official said.
The circumstances that led to the incident were not immediately clear. Other details too were awaited, he said.
ONGC has several rigs and installations in the Arabia Sea that are used to produce oil and gas from reservoirs lying below the seabed. ONGC deployed vessels from nearby installations to pull out the personnel onboard the helicopter. A rescue boat from the rig Sagar Kiran, near which the helicopter made the emergency landing, rescued at least one person, the official said.
ONGC vessel Malviya-16 rescued four persons. Details of the incident are so far sketchy.
"#Helicopter mishap in #Arabian Sea near #ONGC rig Sagar Kiran in #Mumbai High; carrying 7 passengers & 2 pilots," ONGC tweeted.