Royal Dutch Shell evacuated 54 workers from its Brent Alpha platform in the UK North Sea Monday after a container fell off the platform, threatening nearby pipelines.
The container was being moved onto a support vessel Sunday afternoon when it slipped and landed dangerously close to a subsea pipeline network that connects to the Far North Liquids and Associated Gas System (Flags) pipeline, the Evening Express said.
The Brent Alpha platform is located about 115 miles northeast of Lerwick, Scotland.
Brent Alpha and Brent Bravo, an adjacent platform, were depressurized and shutdown as a precautionary measure.
Shell said 28 workers will stay on Brent Alpha and 18 have been transferred to the nearby Brent Bravo, Charlie and Delta platforms.
An additional 36 workers are being taken to Aberdeen, Scotland.
Shell said the evacuation was a non-emergency evacuation of non-essential personnel.
The container has been attached to a rope and is suspended about 20 feet below the sea surface.
Shell said the operator of the crane was able to safely maneuver the container away from the platform and support vessels.
A mechanical failure is thought to have caused the accident.
“An effort to recover the container and transfer it to a vessel is currently being planned. A support vessel is currently travelling to the Brent field,” Shell said.
The UK Health and Health and Safety Executive and Maritime and Coastguard Agency were informed of the incident.