Ten feared dead in Caspian Sea after walkway collapses
15 December 2016
Azerbaijani oil officials said on December 15 that one worker has been killed and nine others were missing after part of their offshore oil installation broke off. Azerbaijan State Oil Company SOCAR reported that 10 workers were swept away after a 150-meter section of walkway fell into the Caspian Sea during 145 kph winds.
Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev's office said in a statement: "At the current time, the body of one of the missing workers has been found and that Search and rescue operations are continuing for the remaining nine."
A spokesperson for SOCAR said five of the victims had been working on the installation and another five were in a cabin which was dislodged by the high winds.
Senior oil official Balmirza Agarahimov said that 10 boats were in the area carrying out the search, despite storm and snow conditions. He added that the structure that was destroyed by the winds had been built in 1978 and had last undergone repairs in August.
A special commission has been established to investigate the incident, which did not affect oil output.
This comes just over a year after the worst disaster in the history of Azerbaijan's oil industry, when a fire on the Guneshli oil platform and associated lifeboat sinking claimed 32 lives.