The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB), which is a division of the ministry of civil aviation, and Oil & Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) wing for health, safety and rescue will hold two separate inquiries into the crash of a Pawan Hans helicopter which had five ONGC personnel and two pilots onboard.Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha tweeted that AAIB will launch a thorough inquiry. He further said, “Deeply anguished by tragic Pawan Hans/ONGC helicopter accident of the Mumbai coast. Search and rescue operations are underway.’’An ONGC spokesman told DNA, “The health, safety and rescue wing will inquire into procedural lapses, if any, which led to today’s crash. It is a regular practice that before helicopter takes off every test is undertaken. Being a high risk industry, ONGC’s topmost priority is safety of its employees. For ONGC personnel and VIPs, it is mandatory to attend safety briefing and watch safety video before boarding the helicopter.’’ He informed that the AAIB probe is expected to help access the black box of the helicopter and thereby ascertain the technical cause of Saturday’s crash. On the other hand, the inquiry by health, safety and rescue inquiry will reveal shortcomings, if any, in adherence of safety and aviation procedures.Further, the spokesman said a detailed health, safety and environment dossier for each work centre was provided to all asset and basin managers and services chiefs for monthly monitoring. Saturday’s was the third mishap after 2003 when 23 ONGC employees were killed in a helicopter crash on the Arabian Sea in the offshore Heera Panna Oilfield’s Neelam area, while in 2015, Pawan Hans pilots deployed on ONGC duty were killed during training.ONGC CHOPPER CRASHESNovember 4, 2015: Pawan Hans helicopter hired by ONGC to ferry its officials from Mumbai to its offshore oilfield crashes off the coast of Mumbai. One of the two pilots dies.August 11, 2003: At least 25 persons, including 23 employees of ONGC are killed in a helicopter crash into the Arabian Sea in the offshore Heera Panna Oilfield’s Neelam area, about 30 nautical miles west of Mumbai.Friends, colleagues shocked by deathsFriends and colleagues of officers who died in the copter crash expressed shock on their demise. At ONGC (oil an natural gas company) Colony in Bandra Reclamation, where two of the five ONGC deputy general managers lived, a number of friends and colleagues came to express their grief. Among them was petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan. “The senior officers go for supervision once a while. Their team of hundreds in working on the platform in the sea. It is very unfortunate that the senior officers met this accident. It is a huge loss not only for the corporation but also the country”, said a colleague of Jose Anthony and P N Sreenivasan, who is also a DGM in ONGC. —Devashri Bhujbal

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AAIB & ONGC wing to hold inquiries into Pawan chopper crash