Oil Workers Rescued from a Platform Rig in the North Sea

The first of 109 rescued gas workers have arrived at Humberside Airport by helicopter after a fishing vessel hit their North Sea platform. They were taken from the rig at 0930 BST on Wednesday following the collision 27 miles off the coast of Hull. The workers were airlifted from the platform by three helicopters and taken to a Norwegian tanker the Navion Europa. A spokeswoman for Dynegy Storage, which operates the Rough 33 platform, said 19 men would stay on the rig to carry out maintenance work.

All platform staff have been accounted for, along with the 21-member crew of the fishing vessel The Marbella. There are no reports of injuries. The vessel is reported to be holed but heading for port under its own steam. The rig is understood to have suffered structural damage to one of its legs, but a coastguard spokesman said there was no immediate danger of explosion. The platform had been closed for annual maintenance and there had been no escape of gas.