Azerbaijan’s All Diver Groups Involved in Search of Victims of Collapsed Helicopter - SOCAR Head

Azerbaijan’s All Diver Groups Involved in Search of Victims of Collapsed Helicopter - SOCAR Head

Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend corr S. Aliyev / Azerbaijan's all diver groups were involved into the search of the victims of the collapsed helicopter owned by Azerbaijan State Air Company (AZAL), the President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), Rovnag Abdullayev, said on 13 October. According to him, the divers were equipped with modern diving rescue equipment.

There are several obstacles for the search work. Due to the strong wind the water in the sea grows turbid and that prevents good visibility. Moreover, there is an undercurrent with 5km per hour. Nevertheless, the search will not be suspended.

It is too early to say something definite about the reasons of the accident, the Emergency Situations Minister said. The reasons can be revealed only after all fragments of the helicopter and the flight recorder are lifted and examined.

A helicopter of the Azerbaijani State Air Company (AZAL), which collapsed to the sea on 12 October, is being lifted and will be delivered to the shore within an hour. Two bodies were found in the accident place, according to AZAL. After delivery the bodies will be sent for expertise.

Approx at 9:30 on 12 October, state AZAL concern's MI-8 helicopter which was on balance of Azalhelicopters enterprise was called to Khazar-4 drilling platform located in West Absheron field for Gahraman Asadov, an employee of the Bail Limani off-shore drilling department, fell ill, according to PR head of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), Nizamaddin Guliyev.

Gahraman Asadov and accompanying him Zahid Shashkayev got into the helicopter. In a while after gaining altitude the helicopter collapsed to the sea 200 metres away from the drilling platform.

The helicopter had 4-member crew - Victor Glinenko, Vladimir Nekrasov, Ahmad Aliyev, and Jahid Ibrahimov, as well as to aforementioned passengers - engineer Gahraman Asadov, 56, and electrician Zahid Shashakyev, 51.

All necessary bodies were informed of the accident. The President of SOCAR, Rovnag Abdullayev, sent Garadagh-7, PSK-21, PSK-173, Orion-26, Neftgaz-10, Vikhr-7, Magic-1, and 'Geofizik' vessels, skin-divers on Jalgan-6, as well as vessels with lifting cranes -Shirvan-3 and Islam Karimov to the place of the accident.

SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev and the Emergency Situations Minister, Kamaladdin Heydarov, arrived at the scene of accident. A search and rescue group including SOCAR's senior employees was established. The group was searching the accident area all the night long. Two bodies (the commander and his assistant) and main parts of the helicopter were lifted from the water.

The search is underway. SOCAR President and the Emergency Situations Minister aboard Magic-1 are directing the work.

Currently the helicopter is being lifted from sea, AZAL's First Deputy Secretary General, Sabir Ilyasov, said to Trend.

According to him, the accident took place when the helicopter with the passengers it picked up in the platform was coming back from the drilling platform. "The helicopter began losing height and landed on the water. Later it went down. The fans of the helicopter were destroyed by water," he said. Six people died.

Weather was fine and the helicopter was in order, Ilyasov said. A special commission was establish to investigate the accident.

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