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Fate of 42 people from sunken oilrig remains unclear

December 21, 2011, 16:50 UTC+3

The fate of 42 people from the Kolskaya oilrig, which sank in the Sea of Okhotsk

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VLADIVOSTOK, December 21 (Itar-Tass) —— The fate of 42 people from the Kolskaya oilrig, which sank in the Sea of Okhotsk, remains unclear, a source in the Far Eastern regional emergency situation centre cited this specified report to Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

“Some 14 people were saved, 11 dead people were lifted from the water, the fate of 42 people remains unclear at 18.00 local time (11.00 Moscow time) on December 21,” the source said.

It was reported before that 14 dead people were detected visually in the sea after a disaster at the oilrig, but three of them could not be raised from the water over the darkfall.

On Wednesday, the Magadan icebreaker is on a permanent search mission in this sea area, and the Atlas rescue ship joined the icebreaker on Wednesday afternoon. By Wednesday evening the Kaspiisky transport refrigerator is expected to arrive in the search area. The refrigerator will search for missing people along its route.

On Wednesday the air monitoring of the situation did not stop in the emergency situation area. An airplane Il-38 of the Pacific Fleet, a Mi-8 helicopter of the Sakhalin Aviashelf Company and an emergency airplane An-74 will be involved in the air reconnaissance.

With the darkfall the search did not stop. The Magadan icebreaker, the Atlas rescue ship and the Kaspiisky refrigerator are examining the water surface with searching lights. The Smith Sakhalin ship, which was earlier involved in the search operation, is carrying the oilrig casualties to the port Korsakov, where the ship is expected to arrive by the morning on December 22.

Emergency response headquarters in the centre of management in emergency situations in the Sakhalin Region and the Far Eastern regional emergency situation centre keep gathering and processing the information coming from the incident area. The Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk maritime rescue coordination sub-centre of the Russian Transport Ministry is coordinating the rescue operation.

The psychologists from Sakhalin and the urgent psychological aid centre of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations give psychological consultations to relatives and injured oilrig crewmen. Psychologists were put on constant duty at the hotel in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, where the rescued oilrig crewmen were accommodated. The hotlines keep working at the emergency situation branches in the Sakhalin, Murmansk and Magadan Regions. All relatives of the oilrig crewmen can specify any information and get psychological consultations.

The Kolskaya oilrig capsized amid a strong storm on December 18 and sank 20 minutes later at the depth of more than 1,000 metres. The oilrig was carrying 67 people, including four women – the crew of the oilrig, oilrig workers and the catering personnel. All people are aged between 22 and 64 years.

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