NEW DELHI -- A civilian helicopter with seven people on board went missing on Saturday, minutes after take-off from Juhu Airport in Indian city of Mumbai, officials said.
The Pawan Hans helicopter carrying seven persons, five officials from oil and natural gas corporation (ONGC) and two pilots, took off at 10:20 am local time and lost communication with the air traffic control (ATC) Mumbai after 15 minutes.
"The chopper suddenly lost contact with both the Mumbai ATC and ONGC," an official said.
According to officials, the chopper was thought to be flying around 55 km off the Mumbai shoreline when it lost communication.
The helicopter was flying to the ONGC'sBombay High oilfields, 175 km northwest from Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra.
"Search for the missing civil helicopter is going on," a spokesman for the Indian navy said.
Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited is a government of India owned company and provides chopper services for off-shore operations, connecting inaccessible areas, VIP transportation, pilgrim services and promotion of tourism.
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