Man critically injured in drilling platform accident

Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2001

KENAI (AP) -- A Kasilof man was critically injured in a weekend accident on Forest Oil Corp.'s Osprey drilling platform in Cook Inlet.

Robert Chandler, 34, remained in the intensive care unit at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage Wednesday.

Chandler, who works for Nabors Alaska Drilling, was injured early Saturday morning, when he was pinned beneath a 4,500-pound drill collar. A drill collar is a heavy piece of pipe used to carry drilling fluids to the bit. Workers often lower several segments of collar into the hole before switching to regular pipe.

Gary Carlson, Forest Oil senior vice president for Alaska operations, said Chandler apparently unlatched the elevator that held the drill collar, and the collar fell on him.

The Nikiski Fire Department was paged at 2:56 a.m. on Saturday, and medics flew to the platform. They found Chandler conscious and talking, but having trouble breathing, he said. They flew him to Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna.

Chandler was airlifted to Providence on Monday morning, his sister, Julie Chandler, said.

Carlson said Nabors has not yet provided Forest Oil with details of the accident. Carlson said he did not initially believe Chandler's injuries were serious, since Chandler called the platform after he was flown to Soldotna.

''I heard that he had been transferred to Anchorage and it developed to be more serious than initially thought,'' Carlson said.



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