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Bulgarian citizen identified among dead oilrig crewmen

December 24, 2011, 10:31 UTC+3

Other five dead oilrig crewmen were also identified

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VLADIVOSTOK, December 24 (Itar-Tass) —— Bulgarian citizen Zhivko Zhekov was identified among the last six dead oilrig crewmen, who were lifted from the water in the Sea of Okhotsk, where the Kolskaya oilrig sank. The dead oilrig crewmen were brought to the Sakhalin port Korsakov onboard the Atlas rescue ship on Saturday morning. The Atlas rescue vessel was participating in a rescue operation after the oilrig disaster.

Other five dead oilrig crewmen were also identified, the Far Eastern transport investigation department of the Investigative Committee reported.

The offshore oilrig Kolskaya (the registration port – Murmansk, the shipowner – Artikmorneftegazrazvedka) capsized and sank on December 18, 200 kilometres away from the Sakhalin coast in a storm when towing in the Sea of Okhotsk. The Magadan icebreaker and the tugboat Neftegaz-55 were towing the oilrig on the route from the Kamchatka Peninsula to the Sakhalin Island. Some 14 people from 67 people onboard the oilrig were saved and 17 dead oilrig workers were lifted from the water. Another 36 people are reported missing.

The active search in the oilrig wreck area was suspended over a storm on Friday.

Residents of the Murmansk Region, Bashkortostan, Moscow, the Moscow, Sakhalin, Magadan and Belgorod Regions, the Khabarovsk and Krasnoyarsk Territories were among the oilrig crewmen.

The Far Eastern transport investigation department of the Investigative Committee is investigating the criminal case, which was opened under Article 263 Part 3 of the Criminal Code for violation of the safety rules of traffic and operating of sea vessels that entailed death of two and more people through negligence. The investigators will give assessments why exhaustive measures to rescue the oilrig crewmen were not taken for two hours since the May Day signal to the actual sinking of the oilrig. Meanwhile, the investigators will give assessments to the actions of officials, which decided to tow the oilrig and carry out a rescue operation.

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