Four dead as oil platform capsizes
Published 18/12/2011 | 08:52
An oil drilling platform has capsized in the Sea of Okhotsk off Russia's east coast, leaving four people dead and 49 missing.
The Emergencies Ministry said in a statement that there were 67 people on board the platform as it was being towed about 120 miles off the coast of Sakhalin Island in stormy conditions. It said 14 people had been rescued.
Russian news agencies later cited ministry officials as saying the bodies of four people had been found.
The search operation has been hampered by a fierce storm in the area. The Transportation Ministry said the platform started sinking after a strong wave broke some of its equipment and portholes in the crew's dining room.
An investigative committee has opened a probe into the accident and said that it might have happened because of a breach of safety regulations or due to the weather conditions.
There were no reports of environmental damage and it would be unlikely since the platform was not drilling for oil when it capsized.