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World

At least 30 feared dead after oil well explosion in Caspian Sea

December 5, 2015 5:27 pm

Thirty oil workers are missing after the rig they were working on in the Caspian Sea was engulfed by a fire, Azerbaijan’s state energy firm SOCAR says.

Another 32 were rescued, the company said on its website, listing the names of 62 workers caught up in the disaster.

The head of Azerbaijan’s Oil Workers’ Rights Protection Committee said 32 workers had died.

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The office of president Ilham Aliyev said earlier that one person had died in the blaze that broke out on Friday, with the rescue operation to retrieve the other staff hampered by a violent storm.

The storm had on damaged a gas line on the platform in the deep water Guneshli section of the Azeri-Chiraq-Guneshli offshore oil field, causing the fire, SOCAR said in a statement.

Spectacular footage on Azeri television showed the platform engulfed in flames in the midst of a raging sea.

“Despite bad weather conditions, 32 people could be saved,” Aliyev said. “According to preliminary information, one person died. At this time, rescue operations continue.”

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