The families of workers who went missing during a platform blaze in offshore Azerbaijan can now aid in the search and recovery effort as crews continue to battle the fire.
According to the Trend News Agency, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Emergency Situations and state-owned SOCAR are now allowing family members of the missing workers to participate in the search effort.
“Taking into account desire of the family members of the missing oil workers, a decision was made to ensure their participation in the search using helicopters,” the ministry said.
One family member for each missing worker will be able to join the search parties beginning on December 29.
Twenty-two workers are currently missing and presumed dead after the SOCAR operated platform caught fire on December 4, when a severe storm damaged a natural gas pipeline and collapsed a portion of the platform.
The bodies of eight workers have been recovered from the site and 33 workers were rescued from the platform, Trends News added.
Two weeks ago, emergency crews managed to extinguish all of the fires at the platform’s oil wells.
However, firefighting crews were still battling a platform blaze on Christmas Eve, Trend News said.
A team of SOCAR officials visited the accident site on December 11 and reported no signs of oil spills.
The company has sent one monitoring ship and six other vessels to the Caspian Sea field to help prevent spills and conduct regular monitoring and research.
SOCAR halted oil production at the 28 wells linked to the platform and stopped flows through the facility’s oil and gas pipelines as a precautionary measure when the blaze began.
The company has not disclosed a timeline for repairing or restarting the platform, known as platform 10.
Earlier this month, SOCAR asked countries whose territory borders the Caspian Sea to aid in the search and recovery effort.
Platform 10 produces about 6,000 barrels of oil per day from the Gunashli oilfield and serves as a hub for other SOCAR oil fields.