Chopper with eight on board goes missing off Mumbai coast

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Three people dead as a helicopter carrying seven people, including ONGC employees, has crashed 22 miles off Mumbai coast on Saturday.

"1 Pawanhans Helicopter of ONGC flying from Juhu, Mumbai to ODA Offshore Development Area lost at sea this morning".

The helicopter lost contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC) at 10:35 AM. Three bodies have been recovered, Coast Guard said.

Search operations for the chopper are underway.

The Pawan Hans chopper went missing after it took off from Juhu airport at 10:20am in Mumbai. Thereafter, they were in touch with the rig air traffic controller for upto 9 kms, about 2 mins.

Navy spokesman Capt. D. Sharma says a plane and some ships have been deployed to search for the missing helicopter, which was taking workers from the Oil and Natural Gas Commission to an oil rig. It was scheduled to land at ONGC's North Field oil rig at 10.58 am, but did not, The Indian Express reported. Meanwhile, a rescue operation to trace the remaining people is underway.

The coast guard is expected to begin search and rescue operations soon, report adds.