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BAKU Dec 15 The body of one Azeri oilfield
worker was found in the Caspian Sea on Thursday and rescuers
were searching for nine missing people after part of an oil ramp
collapsed in strong winds, a senior oil official said.
Azerbaijan's state energy company SOCAR said a 150-meter
(500 feet) section of walkway fell into the sea and the 10
workers were swept away.
"One body was found and a search-and-rescue operation for
nine missing workers is under way," Balamirza Agarakhimov, a
deputy head of SOCAR subsidiary Azneft, told journalists.
He said the ramp had been built in 1978 and had last
undergone repairs in August this year. SOCAR said that five of
the staff had been working on the installation and another five
were in a cabin which was dislodged by the high winds.
The incident did not affect oil output. It came just over a
year after the worst disaster in the history of Azerbaijan's oil
industry, when a fire and lifeboat sinking on the Guneshli oil
platform claimed around 30 lives.
(Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; Writing by Andrey Ostroukh and
Margarita Antidze; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)