Searches for missing oil workers underway

By: Aynur Karimova

Azerbaijan continues searches for the missing oil workers both at the offshore field Gunashli and at the Oil Rocks as of 23:00 (GMT +4) on December 6, but the bodies of those missing haven’t been found so far.

This was announced by Balamirza Alirahimov, the head engineer at the Azerbaijani production union Azneft.

Earlier on December 4, fire broke out on the offshore platform #10 of SOCAR’s Gunashli field, after an underwater high-pressure gas pipeline was damaged in strong storm.

As many as 33 people have been rescued in a large-scale operation. One person was found dead and his body was handed over to his relatives. Some 29 people are considered missing.

Alirahimov noted that the searches are continuing at night with help of vessels, and the next morning the searches will be rejoined by helicopters.

“A special headquarters, headed by SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev, is working on the accident scene,” he said adding that the headquarters was transferred from platform #5 to the “Neftgaz-62” vessel, making it possible to approach the faulty platform #10.

Allahverdi Mammadov, the head of the platform at the Gunashli field, earlier told Trend that the fire broke out in the northern part of the platform.

“As a result of storm, an underwater gas pipeline of high pressure was damaged,” he said. “At the same moment, a distress call was made. All oil workers on the platform put on life jackets and got into the boats. There were 27 people in our boat. We knew nothing about the fate of those who were in the second boat. ”

Seven vessels and four helicopters of the State Border Service, four helicopters of the Emergency Situations Ministry, and the vessels of the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company are involved in the searches.