MUMBAI -- A Pawan Hans helicopter with two pilots onboard crashed into the Arabian sea shortly after taking off from an ONGC installation in the Mumbai high field this evening, Defence sources said.
The pilots are missing and Coast Guard and ONGC have pressed their vessels into service to locate them.
The Medivac chopper was on its last sortie of the day from a platform on the Mumbai High south oil and gas field about 160 KM off the coast.
"We don't know the reason for that," ONGC Director Offshore T K Sengupta told PTI.
The chopper was not on any crew duty and so there were no passengers on board.
"The chopper was on a standby duty and had taken off as part of its last sortie," he said, adding the reasons for the crash are not yet known.
"The pilots on the board are still missing. We don't know their whereabouts," Sengupta said.
No oil and gas installation was damaged in the accident.
Meanwhile, the Indian Coast Guard (CG) said in a statement late tonight that its ships found debris of the helicopter, but hadn't located survivors yet.
After its Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Mumbai received information about the crash from a Coast Guard Dornier on surveillance sortie, three ships, including one carrying helicopter from Porbandar, were pressed into service for rescue operation.
"During the search, the vessels picked up debris of the helicopter. As of 2230 hrs, nil survivors were located," the Coast Guard statement said.
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