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Oil rig evacuated at Harland and Wolff after small fire breaks out

Published 21/05/2015

The huge structure in Belfast
The huge structure in Belfast

More than 300 factory workers had to be evacuated from an oil rig at Harland and Wolff after a small fire broke out during welding operations.

Harland and Wolff said local emergency services were very quickly on hand - however the fire had already been extinguished by H&W Fire Watch on board.

A spokesman said: "We would like to thank the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service for their rapid response and professionalism.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service received the call at around 1.45pm.

Workers were back on board within 30 minutes.

Lennie Entwistle Area Commander for Belfast said the fire was accidental and was "contained and confined to one of the legs of the oil rig."

350 shipyard factory workers were evacuated. Around 50 firefighters were sent to the scene and and when they arrived they joined up with Harland and Wolff who have their own firefighters - and had already made the first strike at the fire.

Some of the Harland and Wolff firefighters joined the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Team due to their familiarity with the layout of the rig.

It took two hours to close the incident and there were no injuries to any of the shipyard workers nor fire and rescue personnel.

Further reading:

Harland and Wolff shipyard infection caused by metal fumes

Bacteria outbreak found in Belfast's Harland and Wolff shipyard  

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