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Home > News > Report

Naik orders probe into chopper crash

Vijay Singh in Mumbai | August 11, 2003 20:59 IST
Last Updated: August 11, 2003 22:20 IST

Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Ram Naik on Monday ordered inspection of all helicopters operating to the Bombay High region following the crash of a chopper in which 21 Oil and Natural Gas Corporation personnel and four crew are feared dead.

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After visiting the accident spot, 35km from Mumbai, Naik said the civil aviation ministry would conduct an inquiry into the cause of the crash of the MI 172 chopper owned by a private firm MESCO.

"I will assure the unions that we should find together how to help the victims' family," he said.

"There is a chance that all members in the helicopter had their belts on. It is possible that some of them are trapped in the helicopter," Naik said.

The next of kin of those killed will get Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia payment, he said, adding this would be over and above the compensation provided by the company.

On the demand of the ONGC Scientific and Officers' Association's demand for dismissal of Chairman and Managing Director of ONGC, Subir Raha, Naik said, "There is a procedure to look into this kind of issue and right now is not the time."

Meanwhile, Association of Scientific and Technical Officers working president L K Mirchandani told that if the ONGC management did not look into the safety aspects the workers would go on an indefinite strike from Wednesday.

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