Image courtesy of Pawan Hans.

Two pilots are still missing after a helicopter crashed on Wednesday near an ONGC offshore platform in the Arabian Sea.

According to NDTV, there were no passengers aboard the helicopter when it crashed Wednesday evening during night landing practice at the ONGC operated Mumbai High oil rig.

The craft, a 14 seat VTPWF Dauphin aircraft made in 2001, took off from the rig around 7:12 p.m. and lost radar contact about eight minutes later.

The two pilots manning the helicopter are still missing and have been identified as Captain Eeso Samuel and co-pilot TK Guha, Times of India said.

The rig was not damaged during the accident and no environmental impacts have been reported.

The Indian Navy and Coast Guard have launched search and rescue missions but low visibility hampered operations early Thursday morning.

ONGC vessels are also aiding in the search effort.

Pieces of the chopper’s fuselage, including part of its tail, have been recovered, the Times of India said.

 The cause of the crash has not been determined.

The helicopter is owned by Pawan Hans, a state-owned company that transports ONGC employees to the company’s offshore sites.

“The helicopter had left Juhu helipad at 4.30pm and had landed safely at Bombay High. It then departed again for a training flight which is when it lost radio contact with the air traffic control,”a Pawan Hans official told the Times of India.


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