6 killed in Indian chopper crash

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Five bodies were recovered after a Pawan Hans helicopter crashed some 37 kilometers off the west coast of India near Mumbai on Saturday, according to the country's Navy. The Indian Coast Guard diverted a ship and an aircraft to the region for a search and rescue operation.

The bodies of the four people were recovered from under the debris of the Pawan Hans helicopter, media reports quoted coast guard officials as saying. "ONGC pressed into action all resources to conduct search operations immediately", a statement issued by ONGC said. Doctors at Nanavati Hospital, where the bodies were taken, said their poor condition made identification hard for family members.

The helicopter was flown by Capt. V.C. Katoch and Capt. Ramesh Oathkar, both with several thousand hours of flying experience behind them.

Based on the information received, the chopper which had two pilots and five passengers did not land at the designated oil rig. A Boeing P8i from the naval air station INS Rajali at Arrakonam, Tamil Nadu and Speaking 42C from Naval Air station INS Shikra Colaba had also joined in the search operations.

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The chopper, Dauphin N3, bearing registration number VT-PWA, took off from Juhu aerodrome at 10.25 AM in morning today. 35 am. At the time, it was 30 nautical miles off Mumbai.

The reason behind the unfortunate incident is yet to be ascertained, it said. Whether it is parts of the wreckage is yet be confirmed.

"The Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard are on their job". However, none of them had been identified. "Seaking 42B helicopter being launched in addition" Navy spokesperson stated.

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