The Barra do Riacho Terminal. Image courtesy of Petrobras.

Two workers at a Petrobras oil terminal construction site drowned on Tuesday after scaffolding the men were working on collapsed.

According to Reuters, Alex Vieira Ribeiro, 39, and contract worker Oseias Damasceno Soares, 27, were erecting scaffolding at the end of a Transpetro pier when the scaffolding collapsed and sent them into the water.

The FUP oil workers union said the two men were dragged into the water by safety belts that were attached to the scaffolding, although work authorizations for the project only recommended life jackets.

The union added that it took an hour for trained emergency responders to arrive at the site, located at Transpetro’s Barra do Riacho Terminal in Espirito Santo state.

Transpetro is the shipping and transportation unit of Brazil’s Petrobras.

Transpetro told Reuters it is investigating the incident.

An FUP affiliate,SindipetroNF, added that a blaze also broke out on Tuesday at the Petrobras operated P-53 offshore oil platform in Brazil’s Marlim Leste field.

According to the union, the fire was brought under control by the crew after automatic carbon-dioxide extinguishing units and temperature sensors failed.

Two leaking high pressure natural gas lines may have sparked the blaze, the union told Reuters.

No injuries or spills were reported.


  1. It is important to analyze what can go wrong before and while performing any actvity, even if we have controls in place. For this specific example, these two workers died because they were using unnecessary additional PPE (safety belts that were attached to the scaffolding), instead of using only the life jacket.

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