Rig Workers Evacuated after North Sea Blaze

Monday, November 26, 2007
Helicopters flew to the rescue of offshore oil workers on Sunday after a large blaze broke out on a remote oil platform in the North Sea between Britain and Norway. The Swedish company which owns the Thistle Alpha platform, Lundin Petroleum, said the fire had been extinguished in under three hours and that no one had been injured.

Around 117 personnel were airlifted to safety, while 42 staff remained on board, a coastguard spokesperson said. Five British and two Norwegian helicopters were involved in the rescue operation, which also included a Nimrod plane from the Royal Air Force (RAF) base at Kinloss in northeast Scotland. The rig employs 159 people and is based 120 miles northeast of the Shetland Islands, off the coast of northern Scotland. A spokesman for oil and gas services company Petrofac, which manages the platform on behalf of Lundin, said it had launched an investigation to determine what caused the blaze. Source: AFP

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