In an industrial accident aboard a drilling rig in Bass Strait, off Victoria’s coast, two men have been killed, reports news.com.au.
The incident took place on the Stena Clyde mobile rig, which has been working in the Otway Basin since March searching for natural gas on behalf of Origin Energy.
“They were drilling for a new gas field and there was a machinery failure. A piece of the machinery bounced back and hit both of them, one of them was killed instantly and the other died on the way to the hospital,” Australian Workers Union state secretary Cesar Melhem said.
“They were trying to fix the drill and the gas released, it wasn’t an explosion.”
“We don’t have the names yet. All workers on the vessel were flown back to shore, they have been evacuated,” he said.
The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) confirmed the death of two workers, but it would not detail the circumstances which led to the deaths, adding that it has launched an investigation.
Origin Energy said that “All onboard operations have been suspended and the well has been secured in line with established safety and emergency response procedures.”
“Two people working on board were seriously injured as a result of the incident. At this time we cannot confirm the extent of injuries.
“Emergency services were immediately contacted and are on site assessing the situation.
“There are no environmental issues as a result of the incident and existing Otway production is not impacted,” said Origin in its statement.
Victoria Police has sent detectives out to the rig to conduct an investigation.
LNG World News Staff, August 27, 2012