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Asphyxia from water entering lungs causes Kolskaya rig crew death

December 23, 2011, 14:24 UTC+3
The Kolskaya floating drilling rig crewmembers’ death was caused By “asphyxia due to fluid entering their respiratory channels and lungs,”
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VLADIVOSTOK, December 23 (Itar-Tass) — The Kolskaya floating drilling rig crewmembers’ death was caused By “asphyxia due to fluid entering their respiratory channels and lungs,” according to a report of autopsy of 11 bodies that on Thursday were brought to Korsakov port on the Sakhalin Island, the press service of the Far Eastern transport investigation department of the Investigative Committee (SK) of Russia reported on Friday.

All 11 bodies were identified on Thursday by their relatives and colleagues. Among the dead there are eight residents of the Murmansk region, two residents of Sakhalin and one resident of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. Personal documents were found on four of the accident victims, whose bodies were recovered from the Okhotsk Sea on December 22. “The bodies’ forensic examination is currently underway,” the department said.

The Kolskaya floating drilling rig (homeport - Murmansk, owner – ArcticMorNefteGazRazvedka) capsized and sank on December 18 at a distance 200 km from the shore during a storm during towing in the Sea of ··Okhotsk. The Magadan icebreaker and Naftogaz-55 tugboat were towing the rig on the route from the Kamchatka Peninsula to the Sakhalin Island.

A total of 14 people of 67 that were on the Kolskaya rig were rescued, 17 bodies of those who sank were found and lifted from the water. Another 36 people are still missing.

The floating rig’s crew consisted of residents of the Murmansk region, Bashkortostan republic, Moscow, the Moscow, Sakhalin, Magadan, Belgorod regions, as well as the Khabarovsk and Krasnoyarsk Territories.

The Far Eastern transport investigation department of the RF SK is investigating a criminal case opened over the accident under Article 263, Part 3 of the RF Criminal Code (violation of safety rules and operation of maritime transport, resulting in the death of two or more people). The investigation will find out the reasons why the comprehensive measures to rescue the crew of the Kolskaya rig were not taken during two hours from the transmission of the SOS signal to the rig’s sinking. The investigators will also assess the actions of officials who made decisions on the towing of the rig and on the rescue operation.

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