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    Russian rig capsizes off Sakhalin

    News // December 19, 2011

    BBC News Online reports that at least two people have died and more than 50 are missing after an oil drilling rig sank in freezing seas in the Russian far east. The jack-up rig, Kolskaya, was being towed some 200km (125 miles) off Sakhalin island when it capsized in a fierce storm.

    Fourteen people have been rescued but it is feared the rig overturned before the rest of the 67 people on board could escape on to life rafts. Rescue efforts have been hampered by poor weather conditions.

    Helicopters and a plane helped scour the area amid high winds and waves of up to 12ft (4m).

    "According to reports from the scene of the rescue operation, the Kolskaya platform has sunk completely," the regional head of the emergencies ministry, Taimuraz Kasayev, told a news briefing.
     
    The accident took place in temperatures of -17C in the Sea of Okhotsk as the rig was being towed from the eastern peninsula of Kamchatka to Sakhalin.

     

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