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KolskayaAn oil rig sunk yesterday in the Sea of Okhotsk where 14 people lost their lives. Many are still missing but 67 were on the rig.

The wind was blowing at 25 m/s and the waves were 5 to 6 metres high. The rig overturned and started taking in water. It sank in only 20 minutes and the temperature of the ocean was around 1°.

14 people were rescued. They were on duty on deck during the towing and were wearing survival suits and life-jackets.

The Russian Media is criticising rescue operators because the whole crew was in the oil rig when it was being towed.

According to Russian instructions for safety at sea, only a required minimum of personnel should be onboard a vessel that is being towed. The Russian Agency for Transport Supervision has started investigation of the accident.

"Kolskaya" belongs to the Murmansk-based company Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka and had just finished work under a contract with energy giant Gazprom in the Sea of Okhotsk.

The weather conditions are thought to be the reason for the accident, not any other problems have been found.

Source: Barents Observer