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    Indian rig fire blamed on supply ship collision

    News // August 5, 2005
    India's Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Mani Shankar Aiyar, has confirmed that a major fire on the Mumbai High processing platform has led to a number of fatalities, and has also confirmed that the incident was caused when a supply ship collided with the platform.

    "A major fire accident occurred on Mumbai High North (MHN) processing platform at 4.05pm on July 27th, resulting in the loss of the facility," said the Minister's statement. "The accident took place when ONGC's multi-purpose support vessel (MSV) SamudraSuraksha, under SCI operation, was engaged in a medical evacuation operation."

    "According to available information, the MSV lost control, drifted, and collided with the platform causing a major fire, which also engulfed the MSV. Given the intensity of the fire and consequent damage, the platform was abandoned according to a well-rehearsed abandonment drill used in offshore operations. Similarly, personnel from the MSV were evacuated, except for six divers who are now undergoing decompression and are expected to survive," said the statement.

    "Personnel on board the chartered drilling rig NC Yester deployed in the area were also evacuated.

    The MHN platform was totally lost in less than two hours along with a Pawan Hans helicopter positioned on it. ONGC support and supply vessels and three chartered helicopters were quickly mobilized for search and rescue operations. Indian Navy and Coast guards provided prompt assistance by deploying ships and air crafts."

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