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Saudi - Survivors of Aramco rig incident recount ordeal  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 07/01/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab News) One of the ten Saudi survivors of Saudi Aramco's platform accident on "Arabiya-4" relayed to Arab News how the events unfolded rapidly during the inciden


Hashim Yossif Al-Sharfa, one of the survivors and an operator for Saudi Aramco, said he couldn't recall the exact details of the accident because the jack-up rig sank so quickly. He stressed that despite the precautions put in place for this type of emergency there were still casualties.

Three Asian workers died in the aftermath of the accident, while 24 workers survived

"The last scene I saw was the platform's jack legs because I suffered from a broken nose and cuts in my leg," the survivor explained

"I remember that the accident happened at 2 p.m.; the situation was very difficult, I fell on the cabin's floor and I was leaning on a pipe next to me, I was trying to hang on when the rig turned upside down and the majority of the staff fell in the sea," Al-Sharfa recalled

"Saudi Aramco's rapid response team saved us and we were transferred to larger ships to reach a place called 'Kasab', where helicopters waited to transport us to Aramco's hospital in Dhahran," he added

Al-Sharfa pointed out that he has no knowledge of the reasons behind the technical problems that caused the rig to sink

Al-Sharfa and the rest of the injured crew were examined and provided with medical care; some of them had to be hospitalized for several days

Majeed Al-Eisa, another survival who sent the SOS call, said that what happened on Thursday noon was like a "doomsday", emphasizing, "It all happened in a blink of an eye.

The 51 year-old man sent the SOS call, which was received by an employee in the company's Emergency Department

"I reported the incident via the radio when I felt the rig sinking gradually into the sea and water reaching the upper level," Al-Eisa said

He described the sequence of events that took place after, recalling that the crew climbed to the upper part of the rig that did not sink as the sound of the platform's metal parts breaking echoed loudly.

Source have revealed that Saudi Aramco will dismantle and exclude the sunken jack-up rig "Arabiya-4" that conducts maintenance on the platform, due to the high costs of operation

The source added that the operating company contracting

With Aramaco is following up on the investigation to assert who is responsible for the death of the three workers

The operating company began the procedures of transferring the dead workers to their home countries and delivered financial compensation to their families

The same source added that removing the jack-up rig from the sea would cost a large sum of money, due to the expenses of renting a vessel called Derrick barge and the crewmembers needed.

The jack-up rig is around 40 years old and due to its age, its load of work has been reduced and restricted to light work and maintenance.

The sunken jack-up rig began operating when work in the submerged fields in the Kingdom's off-shores commenced


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