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Helicopter crash investigation in Yetagun offshore gas field has not started

New Delhi (Mizzima) – An investigation into the helicopter crash in the Yetagun offshore natural gas field in Burma on Monday has not yet been launched, according to a spokeswoman for PC Myanmar (Hong Kong) Ltd.
A gas rig in the Yetagun offshore gas field which was the site of a helicopter crash on Monday. Photo:“The investigation has not been launched because the crash happened just yesterday,” the spokeswoman told Mizzima.

A Sikorsky S-76 helicopter made in the USA crashed into the Andaman Sea after it departed from a Floating Offshore Storage facility, killing three people and injuring eight or nine. The injured are receiving medical treatment in Rangoon.
The dead and injured were “employees of our business associates, not our direct employees,” said the spokeswoman. She said the victims were rescued, but three people died shortly after the rescue.

According to Deutche Press, the helicopter was carrying a crew employed by Malaysia’s state-owned oil firm Petronas.  A spokesperson for Petronas told the oil industry journal Upstream that the cause of the crash is not known.  Burma’s offshore gas sector is known to employ a large number of foreign staff as technical experts and rig operators.  It is not known how many foreigners were involved in the accident.

The company has not officially disclosed the names or positions of the victims, but the local media have reported that the dead are Win Kyi of Uniteam Company (assistant operator); Than Tun of Smart Technical Service (head chef); and Ohn Thein (copilot).
The helicopter is owned by Heli Union Company based in Paris. A black box has not been found, and the helicopter crashed into the sea because of a major technical problem, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
The company’s spokesperson said, “Regarding compensation to victims’ families, we are doing it in accordance with official procedures. I don’t have the right to disclose that to the media. It’s too early to make a comment,” the spokesperson said.
The Yetagun offshore natural gas field is located offshore of Tanintharyi and the project is a joint effort carried out by Burma’s Ministry of Energy, Malaysia’s PC Myanmar (Hong Kong) Ltd., PTTEP of Thailand and Nippon Company of Japan.
The major investor is PC Myanmar, which has the rights to blocks MD4, MD5 and MD6 in the southern part of the Yetagun offshore gas field.
Burmese state-run newspapers have so far not reported about the helicopter crash.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 July 2011 19:29 )  

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