Stricken Oil Rig Sinks
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Stricken Oil Rig Sinks


Stricken Oil Rig Sinks

The world's largest oil rig has sunk off the coast of Brazil five days after powerful blasts tore through its superstructure killing at least 10 workers. Salvage experts battled high winds and rough seas for five days, but abandoned their efforts after the platform reportedly "shifted suddenly" early on Tuesday morning. The rig went down in about 1,500 metres of water off the coast of Macae, 190 km northeast of Rio de Janeiro, taking with it the bodies of eight oil workers believed to be trapped inside.

As the 40-storey platform, which has about 9,500 barrels (1.5 million litres) of oil on board went down, a slick could be seen slowly spreading into the water around it. Ships belonging to the rig's owners, Petrobas, have gone into action to try to contain the spill, but officials are confident that chemical dispersants will break up the slick and it will not reach land. The sunken rig was insured for $500 million and the accident spurred a small panic in the insurance market.

BBC News, 21 March 2001  

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