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VLADIVOSTOK, December 18 (Itar-Tass) — The Kolskoye floating drilling platform that signaled “SOS” in the morning, upturned in the centre of the Sea of Okhotsk. The fate of 67 people on the platform is unknown. The icebreaker Magadan, the Smit Sakhalin and Teftegaz-55 tug-boats are speeding to rescue them.
The Kolskoye drilling platform, piloted by the Magadan icebreaker, was floating from the Kamchatka western coast to the Zyryanskaya bay in the south-eastern coast of Sakhalin Island. A strong gale with wind gusts of 20 metres per second and four-metre high waves swooped down on the caravan last night.
Portholes were smashed in the platform, life rafts were washed away, and water started gushing inside the platform. The platform flashed out the “SOS” signal. The people were expected to be evacuated by a helicopter to the Magadan and the Neftegaz-55 tug-boat.
Two helicopters of the Aviashelf Company are flying from the village of Nogliki in northern Sakhalin to the area where the Kolskoye platform upturned to rescue people. According to information from Sakhalin, the drilling platform upturned at 13.10 local time.