Chopper with 7 on board goes missing off Mumbai coast

Members of the society said that Pankaj Garg left for work late on Friday and news of accident came as a shock the next morning

Members of the society said that Pankaj Garg left for work late on Friday and news of accident came as a shock the next morning

An Indian helicopter with seven people on board has gone missing off the coast of Mumbai, an official said on Saturday. At the time, it was 30 nautical miles off Mumbai.

Search operations are on, they added. The Coast Guard has fished out three bodies from the site.

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According to Indian Coast Guard, the last contact made by the chopper with the Air Traffic Control (ATC) and ONGC was at 1035 hrs.

The Coast Guard has been alerted and a search operation is on, media reports said quoting sources.

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The helicopter took off from Juhu at 10.20 AM and was scheduled to land at North Field of ONGC at 10.58 AM, but didn't reach there. "The pilots, as per the procedure, had changed over their radio contact from Juhu air traffic control to the one manned on the oil rig around 10.25 am", said a source.

The helicopter belongs to state-run company Pawan Hans, which operates a fleet of helicopters for off-shore operations, charter services and ferrying pilgrims to shrines in mountainous areas. "Wish for their safety", Nirmala Sitharaman, India's defence minister, said on Twitter.

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