Ram Naik faces angry protests over ONGC helicopter crash

Vol 7, PW 11 (13 Aug 03) News in Brief

Angry ONGC employees raised slogans against chairman Subir Raha and picketed oil minister Ram Naik on 11th August in Mumbai over the crash earlier in the day of an ONGC-hired helicopter offshore Mumbai.

The helicopter was carrying 29 personnel from one ONGC rig in Mumbai High to another when it plunged into the Arabian Sea. Two persons were rescued and four bodies recovered later in the day.

Naik arrived in Mumbai to hold a press conference about the incident - the worst accident in ONGC's recent past. Raha was not part of the Monday press conference as he was not in Mumbai.

Slogan-shouting ONGC protesters likened Raha to Hitler and demanded that he be sacked. News reports quoted Ashok Kurade of the Petroleum Employees Union saying: "So many accidents take place at the rigs almost every day.

It is all hushed up by the (oil) ministry." ONGC's unions announced a day's strike Tuesday, 12th August, in protest. The Indian navy, coast guard as well as ONGC are continuing search and rescue.

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