Rotorcraft Update: Indian helo crash claims 27

 - August 11, 2008, 9:39 AM

In one of the highest death tolls from a civil helicopter crash in recent memory, 27 offshore oil workers as well as the crew of a Mil Mi-172 were killed August 11 when the rotorcraft crashed into the sea en route to an oil rig off the western Indian city of Bombay. Two of the 29 people on board survived the impact and sinking of the helicopter, which was under charter by the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), an Indian state-run oil company. The wreckage was found the day after the crash in the sea near the Sagar Kiran oil exploration platform, about 60 miles from Mumbai, India’s economic hub. Also recovered was the big 30-seat helo’s cockpit voice recorder. The crash came as the latest blow in an ongoing labor dispute between ONGC and some 7,000 of its workers, who allege unsafe work conditions at the company and most of whom went on a court-opposed slowdown strike in the days after the crash.