Four Killed in Helicopter Crash Near ONGC Offshore Oil Rig

Pawan hans
Image courtesy Pawan Hans

Published Jun 29, 2022 11:09 PM by The Maritime Executive

Four were killed in a helicopter crash near the Sagar Kiran offshore rig in the Arabian Sea on Tuesday, according to Indian oil company ONGC. Five others were rescued alive from the wreckage.

The aircraft carried out an emergency landing about one mile away from the rig. The first responders on scene were a fast rescue boat from the rig itself and a nearby offshore standby vessel, the Malviya-16. Rescue operations moved quickly and all nine occupants of the helicopter were removed. Four were unconscious and were medevaced by a helicopter of the Indian Navy; they were brought to shore for medical treatment, but unfortunately did not survive. 

The aircraft sank after the rescue operation, and salvage is under way to retrieve the wreckage for analysis, according to Indian media.

The helicopter in the flight was a Pawan Hans-operated Sikorsky S-76D, one of six brand new aircraft leased by the government-owned company earlier this year. The model is a revamped version of the popular S-76, which has four decades of service history. 

Helicopter aviation accidents are a periodic occurrence in offshore E&P, which relies on frequent flights to transfer personnel and high-priority parts. The last crash for Pawan Hans was in 2018, when a Dauphin N3 went down shortly after takeoff and killed all seven on board.

The deceased have been identified as ONGC employees Mukesh Patel, Vijay Mandloi, Satyambad Patra and one contractor, Sanju Francis. Both pilots survived the accident.