BAKU Thirty-two workers have died following an offshore oil platform operated by Azerbaijan’s state power organization SOCAR caught fire in the Caspian Sea, the head of an independent committee said on Saturday.
SOCAR declined repeated requests for comment from Reuters.
“According to our information, 32 workers died, while 42 workers were rescued final evening. … The fire on the platform was finally extinguished,” stated Mirvari Gakhramanly, head of Azerbaijan’s Oil Workers’ Rights Protection Committee.
SOCAR stated on Friday that the fire on a platform in Azerbaijan’s Guneshli oil field had began after a gas pipeline on the platform was damaged in heavy wind. It said rescue attempts were becoming complex by a serious storm.
A single worker named a Reuters correspondent from the platform and said there were 84 folks trapped there. The worker did not want to be named. It was not clear whether or not his statement was now out of date.
SOCAR stated on its Facebook web page on Saturday that 26 workers had been rescued from the platform. It did not give details on regardless of whether there had been deaths or how several people were initially on the platform.
About 60 percent of SOCAR’s oil production passes via the platform exactly where the fire broke out, which means the company’s output will be temporarily hit.
The bulk of Azerbaijan’s oil is developed elsewhere, even so, such as on fields operated by British oil significant BP (BP.L).
BP Azerbaijan was not offered for comment on Saturday on regardless of whether adverse climate in the Caspian or the fire on SOCAR’s platform had affected its production.
In a separate incident, SOCAR stated on Friday that three workers were missing from another of its offshore oil platforms in the Caspian after an accident throughout the storm. The workers had been nevertheless missing as of Saturday.
Fourteen workers were killed in accidents on SOCAR’s oil and gas platforms in 2014.
(Reporting by Nailia Bagirova Writing by Margarita Antidze Editing by Alexander Winning and Stephen Powell)