Rescuers continue search for two missing workers after oil platform tilts in east China   2010-09-08 09:07:55 FeedbackPrintRSS

 Graphics shows a oil drilling platform of China's Shengli Oilfield on the East China Sea leaned on a 45 degree angle to the sea at 11 p.m. on Sept. 7, 2010. Thirty-four people were rescued, and the other two still missing. (Xinhua/ Zhang Liyun)

DONGYING, Shandong, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- More than 130 rescuers braved strong winds and big waves to search for two workers missing in an oil drilling platform accident in Bohai Bay near east China's Shandong Province Wednesday.

Local marine authorities and the platform's operator, Shengli Oilfield, a subsidiary of Sinopec, ordered six rescue vessels and a helicopter to continue searching for the two missing workers in the waters near the oil rig.

But rescuers said the strong winds and big waves brought by typhoon Malou made the search efforts "very difficult."

"The waves are too big and the winds are too strong for us to get close to the platform," a rescuer told the control room in Dongying City, where the oilfield is located.

The accident occurred at the No. 3 drilling platform of Shengli Oilfield in Dongying City at around 6:52 p.m. Tuesday when strong winds brought by typhoon Malou tilted the oil rig.

Thirty-six workers were working on the platform when the accident happened, according to Shengli Oilfield. Four workers fell into water when the oil rig tilted.

By Wednesday night, 34 workers had been saved after local government and marine authorities sent out as many as six vessels and four helicopters to save those trapped workers.

"Given the weather conditions, there was slim hope of survival for the two missing workers," said an official for the oilfield's public relations department, who refused to give his name.

Gales with winds reaching between 76 kmh and 87 kmh created waves as high as four meters, the Shengli Oilfield said in a statement.

The valve on the oil rig has been closed and there is no risk of an oil spill, the company said in the statement.

The 34 rescued workers have received physical checkups in local hospitals and all are in stable condition, according to the statement. 

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Editor: An
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