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Date: 11 December 2015 17:06
Baku, December 11, AZERTAC
Border patrol ships and helicopters of the State Border Service of Azerbaijan were immediately mobilized to the scene for search-and-rescue operations after the offshore Guneshli rig in the Caspian Sea was engulfed by fire on December 4.
According to the State Border Service, 7 ships and 6 helicopters of the State Border Service in conjunction with the helicopters of the Ministry of Emergency Situations are searching for the missing workers.
A land and air search for missing workers is underway about 100-150 kilometers away from the platform and coastal areas. As to now, several items including life jackets and circles, fragments of a rescue boat have been found.
On December 10, head of the State Border Service, Colonel-General Elchin Guliyev and Minister of Emergency Situations, Colonel-General Kamaladdin Heydarov inspected the area from helicopters. It was decided to expand the search area with the involvement of additional forces and resources.
Early on Sunday, Azerbaijan asked border guard services of four Caspian littoral states - Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan - to help with its searching efforts.
There were 63 people on the platform before the fire broke out, of whom, 33 workers had been saved and evacuated to safe grounds. On December 7 rescuers found bodies of six oil workers who went missing following a fire at Azerbaijan's oil rig on the Caspian Sea.
Azerbaijan declared Sunday, December 6, a day of national mourning after the 29 people went missing following the fire.
The fire was said to be caused after a storm damaged a gas line on platform November 10 in the deepwater Gunashli section of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli off shore oil field.