Azerbaijan still missing 26 oilmen, search continues
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 9
None of the missing 26 oilmen were found as of Dec. 9, 16:00 (GMT +4), said Balamirza Agharahimov, chief engineer at Azneft - a production union of Azerbaijan's State Oil Company (SOCAR).
Some 23 oilmen went missing Dec. 4 at the Gunashli offshore field, while the remaining three have been missing since the same day from the offshore field Oil Rocks.
Agharahimov said the search for those is being conducted using the helicopters of Azerbaijan Airlines and the Emergency Situations Ministry, as well as the ships of the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company.
"Five ships continue the fire-fighting," he added.
Agharahimov also said that experts from the well control company Boots & Coots continue their work, adding that tomorrow they will meet with the officials from the headquarters dealing with the disaster.
They will discuss further actions, he added.
"They [Boots & Coots] asked for the scheme of the platform, the equipment installed and others," said Agharahimov.
He noted that oil extraction at the faulty platform has been suspended until the fire is put out.
A fire broke out on the offshore platform #10 of Gunashli field in the Caspian Sea Dec. 4, as a strong storm damaged an underwater high-pressure gas pipeline.
As many as 33 people were rescued in an ensuing large-scale operation. The bodies of seven killed oilmen have been retrieved, while 23 oilmen are still listed as missing.
The same day the fire occurred at the Gunashli field, a strong storm washed a booth on the platform #501 of the Oil Rocks down into the sea.
At that moment, there were three oilmen in the booth - Javad Khudaverdiyev, Bahman Jafarov and Rovshan Mammadov.