Oil Rig Workers Dead, Others Missing After Russian Offshore Rig Sinks

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry revealed on Sunday that 49 people are missing and four bodies are believed to have perished after an offshore oil rig began sinking in the Russian far east Sea of Okhotsk.

14 people were rescued from the rig which was being towed from Kamchatka and authorities refuse to call the four people spotted in the water as dead even though no signs of life were witnessed.

All together there were 67 people aboard the Kolskaya platform, a rig that was subcontracted to a company working with energy giant Gazprom.

The icebreaker ship Magadan and the tugboat Naftogaz-55 are on the scene and will work through the night in a frantic search for survivors and the bodies of the deceased.

Several helicopters were assisting in the initial search during the daytime hours until a strengthening storm made their efforts difficult, they will rejoin in the search on Monday morning.

According to news agency RIA-Novosti the rig was drilling 11,480 feet and poses no environmental danger because it’s fuel stocks were hermetically sealed and will therefore not spill.

According to reports the rig was being moved into position when pumps failed, causing the rig to take on water and ultimately sink.

Do you believe that better safety precautions need to be taken given the number of oil rigs failing in recent memory?