Thirty-two workers have died after an offshore oil platform caught fire in the Caspian Sea, reports Reuters citing Mirvari Gakhramanly, Head of Azerbaijan's Oil Workers' Rights Protection Committee.
According to Gakhramanly, 32 workers died, while 42 workers were rescued last night. The fire on the platform which broke out Friday night was finally extinguished this afternoon.
Azerbaijan's state energy company SOCAR declined to comment on the accident. Azerbaijan authorities claimed earlier that no one was injured in the accident.
The fire on a platform in Azerbaijan's Guneshli oil field had started after a gas pipeline on the platform was damaged in heavy wind. Severe storm that was raging in the area caused one of the platform’s living modules to be washed into the sea.
Rescue attempts were being complicated by a severe storm with waves being as high as 11 meters (the height of a 3-storey hose). The adverse weather conditions made the putting out of the fire and evacuation of the platform’s personnel a lot more difficult.