A brand new Pawan Hans chopper with nine people on board crashed into the Arabian Sea, about 50 nautical miles from the Mumbai coast on Tuesday, killing four people -- including one Odia.
All the deceased have been identified as ONGC employees. Odia geologist Satyambada Patra is also among them. Others have been identified as Mukesh Patel, Bijay Mandloi and Sanju Francis.
Satyambada from Malkangiri district had married last year and his wife is three months pregnant.
“We are all shattered following Satyambada’s sad demise. He was a nice human being. The people of the locality will miss him,” said one of his relatives.
The tragic incident occurred during the emergency landing of the chopper in the Arabian Sea water near the Sagar Kiran oil-rig off Mumbai High Fields, around 175 km off the country’s commercial capital.
The chopper was carrying at least seven passengers and two pilots. The rescue was carried out by ONGC vessel Malviya-16 and a boat from the oil rig Sagar Kiran, while the Indian Coast Guard also deployed its aerial and marine assets in the efforts.
Four of the nine pulled out were unconscious and airlifted in a Navy chopper to a hospital in Mumbai, where they were declared dead.
ONGC has ordered a probe into the incident.
Notably, ONGC has several rigs and installations in the Arabian Sea that are used to produce oil and gas from reservoirs lying below the seabed.