Five days after a Pawan Hans Dauphin chopper crashed into the Arabian Sea off Bombay High, the wreckage of crashed chopper has been located and the body of one of the two pilots recovered from the cockpit off Mumbai coast.
The Coast Guard said that the wreckage was found at the new DATUM (the suspected crash site). The site is near the unmanned platform ECO ECO.
Captain E Samuel two days before the tragedy
Officials are in the process of identifying the body, which was found attached to the wreakage, and a DNA test will have to be done to confirm the identity.
The cockpit of the chopper (AS 365 N3) with the body of one pilot was found late on Monday evening from the seabed, around 80 nautical miles from Mumbai.
The wreckage of the helicopter was recovered in a few parts at a depth of 75 metres. Search for the remaining parts and the other pilot was still on. Many agencies have been working 24x7 since the crash on November 4, officials said.
The Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard deployed ships, aircraft, choppers and conducted sonar searches to trace the pilots and the wreckage.
The Underwater Locator Beacon as well as the sonar inputs were thoroughly analysed. Diving was undertaken at various locations for the past four days.
Finally, on the input of INS Makar and MSV Fugro Mapper, diving by PSV Samudra Sevak led to the location of the helicopter wreckage, which was retrieved.
A Pawan Hans helicopter with two pilots onboard crashed into the Arabian sea off the Mumbai coast shortly after taking off from an ONGC installation in the Mumbai high field on Wednesday evening, defence sources said.
The pilots -- Captain E Samuel and co-pilot Tarun Kumar Guha -- were reported missing and Coast Guard and ONGC pressed their vessels into service to locate them.
The 11-seater Medivac chopper was on its last sortie of the day from a platform on the Bombay High south oil and gas field about 160 KM off the Mumbai coast.
(With Agency Inputs)
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