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BAKU, Dec 15 (Reuters) - 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)