Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Rescuers find six bodies from Azerbaijan oil rig ablaze, 23 workers still missing

Rescuers have found remains for six of dozens of oil workers who went missing following a fire at Azerbaijan's oil rig on Caspian Sea, according to the country's TREND news agency.

The bodies were found by the helicopters of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Emergency Situations about 70 kilometers away from the oil rig Monday afternoon, said the TREND news agency's reports.

The reports quoted a source with Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR by saying that it was still searching for 23 workers missing after a fire engulfed the oil platform in the Caspian Sea Friday.

While addressing the news conference here Monday, SOCAR chief engineer Balamirza Alirahimov said the fire at the oil rig in the offshore Guneshli field is still burning and has spread to more oil wells.

Firefighters are still scrambling to bring the blaze under control, said the SOCAR chief engineer, who mentioned the operation is hampered by waves that reached a height of three and half meters.

Early on Sunday, the company asked border guard services of four Caspian littoral states -- Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan -- to help with its searching efforts, according to the SOCAR engineer.

There were 63 people on the platform before the fire broke out, of whom, 33 workers had been saved and evacuated to safe grounds. The body of one other worker was recovered Saturday.

Azerbaijan declared Sunday, or Dec. 6, a day of national mourning after the 29 people went missing following the oil rig fire at the Guneshli offshore field Friday.

The fire was said to be caused after a storm damaged a gas line on platform No. 10 in the deepwater Guneshli section of the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli offshore oil field, said the SOCAR in a statement.

The Guneshli No.10 platform, which went into operation in 1984, services 24 oil wells and four gas wells, producing 920 metric tons of oil and 1 million cubic meters of gas per day.

  Xinhua -globaltimes.cn


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