New Delhi: State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) is reviewing offshore logistics operations after five of its ‘energy soldiers’ were killed in the tragic helicopter crash in the Arabian Sea.

The company employees and officers on Monday held a condolence meetings to mourn the death of five of its officers in Pawan Hans helicopter crash off the Mumbai coast on Saturday. All the seven onboard the ill-fated chopper, including two pilots, are reported to have died in the accident.

“We have lost bright and hardworking officers in line of service to the company and the nation. In a way they were energy soldiers who were killed in the tragic accident," said Narendra K. Verma, managing director & CEO of ONGC Videsh Ltd.

Verma, who was part of the condolence meeting held in Delhi, said the chairman and managing director Shashi Shanker is camping in Mumbai since Saturday, supervising medico-legal assistance to the bereaved families and “to be with the families in their hour of grief". “The company stands in solidarity with the families and will support them in all possible ways," he said.

“The loss of five bright officers is tragic and a great loss to the company." The five were on the way to ONGC’s oil installation in the Arabian sea when the accident occurred on Saturday morning. Verma said the company has begun reviewing offshore logistic operations. “We will do all it takes to make them more safe and secure."

ONGC, he said, is going in to every aspect of how employees and officers are currently transported from land to offshore installations and trying to cut the risk associated with such journeys. Shanker, who has been camping in Mumbai to oversee the search operations as well as ensuring all support for the bereaved families, has stated that a high level independent investigation will be immediately instituted to ascertain the reasons.

The helicopter crash is not the first accident in ONGC’s history. In August 2003, Mi-172 helicopter crashed off Mumbai coast killing 27 company persons and pilot onboard.

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