Three workers dead as Saudi Aramco rig sinks 24 other workers rescued

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An oil rig belonging to Saudi Aramco has sunk in the Persian Gulf, killing three workers, two from India and one from Bangladesh.

A Saudi Arabian coastguard spokesman, Khaled al-Arqubi, told AFP that the bodies of the three drowned workers have all been recovered, two on the evening of 27 December, and one on the morning of 28 December. The 24 other crew members were rescued, some with “limited” injuries according to Saudi Aramco. The rescue team included helicopters, boats, divers and medical personnel.

The rig had been carrying out maintenance work on a well in the al-Safaniya oilfield in the Persian Gulf north of Dhahran, thought to be the largest offshore oilfield in the world, with a production capacity of 1.2m bbl/d.

In a media statement to the Saudi Press Agency, Saudi Aramco’s management extended its “deep regret and condolences” to the families of those who died. Why the rig sunk is not yet clear, but Saudi Aramco told AFP that a full investigation has been launched, and that its operations in the area were unaffected.

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