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Many missing after oilrig fire in Azerbaijan

8 December, 2015Numbers vary, but up 30 workers are still not accounted for after a fire broke out on an oilrig offshore Azerbaijan in the Caspian Sea on 4 December. Strong winds and waves up to ten meters are believed to be behind a pipeline rupturing and starting the fire.

Workers took to the lifeboats to escape the fire, but in the heavy weather one of the boats was overturned and trapped underneath the burning platform. It is still unclear whether the workers onboard have been rescued.

The continuing heavy weather is making rescue attempts difficult. According to information 32 of the oilrig workers have been saved, 2 have died and up to 30 are still missing.

Jahangir Aliyev, president of IndustriALL Global Union affiliate Azerbaijani Oil and Gas Industry Workers’ union, is following the developments and reporting back to IndustriALL.

Kemal Özkan, IndustriALL assistant general secretary, says:

IndustriALL extends our condolences to the victims and their families, and urge the government of Azerbaijan to provide them with the support needed after this tragic accident.

We also call on the government to include the trade unions when investigating the reasons behind the fire that has claimed workers’ lives.