Indian oil rig fire kills 12

The death toll in the devastating fire at Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC’s) oil platform off the Mumbai Coast, in Western India, is only rising by the hour.

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By  Jyotsna Ravishankar Published  July 28, 2005

The death toll in the devastating fire at Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC’s) oil platform off the Mumbai Coast, in Western India, has risen to 12, with 15 people still reported missing. About 384 people were working on the platform when fire broke out at about 4:30 p.m. (1100 GMT) on July 27. Rescue operations were hampered as ONGC’s helicopters in Mumbai were grounded because of floods. Bombay High, India’s largest offshore field, produces 14% of the oil India consumes and accounts for 38% of all domestic production. The platform’s production of 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) is out of a total Bombay High production of 260,000 bpd. ONGC engineers live on the BHN platform, which is connected to 15 oil wells and pumps oil to the coast. “We have picked up people from the sea and there were people who were in the water for more than 12 hours,” said Madanjit Singh, vice-admiral of the Western Naval Command. The accident happened when rough seas pushed a nearby support vessel into the platform, which started a fire that damaged the platform, the support vessel and a nearby rig, Singh said. The platform reportedly sank as a result of the incident.

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