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Home > News > PTI

Ex-secretary to head ONGC copter crash inquiry

August 18, 2003 19:09 IST

Former Union petroleum secretary T S Vijayaraghavan will head the independent committee set up to inquire into the safety and security of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's offshore operations in the light of last week's helicopter crash in the Arabian Sea that killed 27 persons.

Other members of the committee are former Oil India Limited chairman and managing director Major General S C N Jatar (retired) and Professor Pritam Singh, an official statement said in New Delhi.

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Petroleum Minister Ram Naik had, immediately after the crash ofthe chartered helicopter on August 11, announced an independent inquiry into the safety of ONGC's offshore operations, especially air logistics and the hiring of helicopters, particularly Mi-172 choppers, and the circumstances in which the ill-fated helicopter was hired from the New Delhi-based MESCO Airlines.

The probe will be independent of the inquiry being conducted by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Naik has given the committee three months to complete its inquiry.

Other terms of reference of the committee include maintenance/repairs/replacement of offshore installations, adequacy of efforts made by ONGC in ensuring safety and security of personnel engaged in offshore operation, action taken on complaints/grievances regarding safety matters, including condition of helicopter and any act of omission by the ONGC management.

The committee will also suggest short- and long-term measures for tightening the safety and security of offshore operations.

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