Relatives of missing oil workers search for truth

On December 7, Baku resident laid carnations to the seaside boulevard to honor those dead and missing after the deadly Guneshli oil platform fire last Friday. Meanwhile, relatives of the 29 missing oil workers tell Meydan TV that they have been unable to get information from officials. SOCAR officials have been hard to locate and avoided questions from a Meydan TV reporter. Relatives say that their repeated phone calls to the SOCAR headquarters remain unanswered, as the ordeal entered its fourth day on Monday. The information they receive from reluctant officials is “inaccurate” and conflicting, relatives say.

“They say 43 people were rescued. I called the headquarters today. They say his name wasn’t on any of their lists. They won’t provide any information. If he is dead, they should tell me he is dead. If he is alive, they must tell me. They shouldn’t mess around with people,”one witness, whose father is missing, told Meydan TV.

“They won’t even let you anywhere close to them, let alone share information. They kick you out. It is because there are no rules for them,” another grieving relative said.

On Friday, a heavy storm and waves of more than eight meters swept through an underwater gas pipeline on the Guneshli 10 oil platform. An oil rig on the platform caught fire and was severely damaged, according to SOCAR. The Guneshli platform immediately lost electricity. According to multiple reports, oil workers boarded two lifeboats.

A hook holding one of the boats broke loose, causing the boat carrying 34 people to fall into the sea. A nearby ship that went to pull the lifeboats to shore was able to rescue three workers from the vessel. Two were confirmed dead, and 29 are missing. The workers in the other lifeboat were rescued on Saturday.

SOCAR Vice President

Khoshbakht Yusifzade

told a press briefing that chances of rescuing the missing workers are slim. Another SOCAR Vice President, Khalig Mamedov,


the incident as “the biggest tragedy in SOCAR’s history.”

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