VLADIVOSTOK, December 20 (Itar-Tass) — Eleven dead bodies have been recovered from the water in the area of the Kolskaya floating oilrig sinking in the Sea of Okhotsk. Passports were found on 9 of the victims. The bodies were taken on board the Smit Sakhalin vessel, participating in the search and rescue operation, the press service of the Far Eastern Transport Investigation Department of the Russian Investigative Committee (SK) reported on Tuesday.
“Investigators have questioned four men brought from the rig sinking area to the Nogliki town in the Sakhalin region,” the department reported. The Neftegaz 55 tug is expected to arrive in Korsakov port of the Sakhalin region on Tuesday evening. The ship’s crewmembers, as well as 7 people rescued from the rig that are staying on it will also be questioned.”
The Kolskaya floating drilling rig capsized and sank in the Sea of Okhotsk on December 18. Of the total 67 people aboard 14 were rescued. The deaths of 11 people have been confirmed. The rest are unaccounted for. Residents of nine regions of Russia - Murmansk Region, Bashkiria, Moscow and the Moscow region, Sakhalin, Magadan Region, Khabarovsk, Krasnoyarsk Territories and the Belgorod Region were among the rig’s crewmembers.
The floating drilling rig Kolskaya (homeport Murmansk, owner – Artikmorneftegazrazvedka) sank in tow in the Sea of Okhotsk on December 18. The Magadan icebreaker and the transport-tug Neftegaz 55 were towing the rig on the route from the Kamchatka Peninsula the Sakhalin Island.
Criminal proceedings have been instituted over the sinking of the jack-up drilling rig under Article 263 of the RF Criminal Code – “violation of navigation safety rules and operation of maritime transport, resulting in the death of two or more persons by negligence.” The investigation is considering among the main versions of the accident violation of safety rules during towing and neglected weather conditions.