23 oilmen still missing in Caspian (UPDATE 2)

Society Materials 8 December 2015 14:36 (UTC +04:00)

Details added (first version posted on 11:21)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 8

By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

The search for 23 oilmen missing in the Caspian Sea haven't given any result as of Dec. 8, 11:00 (GMT +4), said Balamirza Alirahimov, chief engineer at Azneft, a production division of Azerbaijan's state company SOCAR.

Earlier, on Dec. 4, a fire broke out on an offshore platform of SOCAR's Gunashli field, after a strong storm damaged an underwater high-pressure gas pipeline. As many as 33 people were rescued in an ensuing large-scale operation. Some 23 oil workers are listed as missing.

Speaking at a press conference Dec. 8 in Baku, Alirahimov said four helicopters of the Emergency Situations Ministry and two helicopters of the State Border Service of Azerbaijan have joined the searches on Dec. 8 morning.

He also said that five ships are conducting searches at the offshore field Gunashli.

"The fire continues in several gas wells," added Alirahimov. "They caught fire because it wasn't possible to quickly contain it and due to the windy weather the day the explosion occurred and the fire broke out."

He added that it was possible to install water pipeline holders at the field to deliver water under high pressure to the scene.

"Works will be completed by night to connect it [the pipeline] to the platform's infrastructure," he said, adding that this will allow delivering up to 2,000 cubic meters of water to put out the fire at the platform.

Alirahimov noted that a special pump will be installed on board a ship that is dealing with the platform fire.