Azerbaijan: 7 bodies found after oil rig fire, 23 missing

Associated Press

SOCAR says searchers have recovered the bodies of six of the 29 workers missing after a fire swept through an offshore oil platform, bringing the confirmed death toll to seven.

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Azerbaijan's state oil company, SOCAR, says searchers have recovered the bodies of six of the 29 workers missing after a fire swept through an offshore oil platform, bringing the confirmed death toll to seven.

The 23 still missing are also presumed dead. They were trying to evacuate the burning oil platform and were in a lifeboat that toppled into the Caspian Sea during a storm late Friday.

One body was recovered Friday night, while 33 other workers were rescued, most from a second lifeboat.

Balamirza Alirahimov, the chief engineer of SOCAR subsidiary Azneft, told journalists on Monday that seven bodies have now been recovered and the search is continuing.

The platform caught fire when an underwater gas pipeline was damaged in the heavy seas. It burned throughout the weekend.

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