Source Pravda.Ru

Ten died in Indian oil platform fire

Ten people died and 367 were rescued after fire destroyed an oil platform off India's west coast. The officials say it caused great damage and it may take a year to rebuild a platform that produced a seventh of the country's oil.

Coast Guard officials said several helicopters, six navy and two coast guard ships, and many civilian vessels were scouring very rough seas in bad weather for any survivors of the fire.

"We have picked up people from the sea and there were people who were in the water for more than 12 hours," Madanjit Singh, vice-admiral of the Western Naval Command was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Rough seas had pushed a nearby support vessel into the platform, which started a fire that burned the platform, the support vessel and a nearby rig, Singh said. The platform sank.

The navy said at least 10 people have died. Six divers remain trapped in the support vessel, and one or two people are missing, while 367 people have been rescued.

Video footage shot from a helicopter showed the platform engulfed by flames that were so intense they obstructed attempts to rescue the workers, according to Telegraph.

The field was discovered by a Russian and Indian oil exploration team during the mapping of the Gulf of Cambay in 1964-1967. The first well was sunk in 1974.

The field, where workers tend to do shifts of about two weeks at a time, attained a peak production of 400,000 barrels of oil per day from 1985 to 1989.

ONGC is India's largest company by value, with a market capitalization of about $32 billion. ($1 = 43.5 Indian rupees)

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