63 evacuated from Norway oil rig

2011-04-09 14:05

Oslo - Rescuers say more than 60 people have been evacuated from an oil platform off Norway's west coast after operator Statoil received reports of a gas leak.

Statoil said in a statement on Saturday it mobilised its emergency response teams after being informed about a leak at the Visund platform at 08:18 (06:18 GMT).

Siv Namork of Norway's Joint Rescue Coordination Centre told The Associated Press that 63 people had been evacuated by helicopter and about 60 more remained on the platform to control the situation.

She said Statoil had the situation under control. Company officials didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

The Visund platform is in an oil and gas field about 150km northwest of the coastal city of Bergen.

Production at Visund was shut on Friday due to an investigation into internal damage to flexible risers - pipes that carry oil and gas between the seabed and the installation - a problem that has also stopped output at the Njord field.

"The current situation on the Visund platform is that 60 people remain on the platform after the remainder were flown to nearby installations," Statoil said in a statement, adding that 123 people were on the platform when the leak was detected.

Statoil said it was sending its remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and another vessel to carry out underwater inspections "to identify the source of the gas leak."

It was unclear whether the gas leak was related to the problem with the risers.

- AP
Read more on:    statoil  |  norway  |  environment  |  accidents
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