Platform worker still in hospital

Posted: Monday, April 22, 2002

Three of the four people injured Saturday in a fire on an oil platform in Cook Inlet have been released from the hospital, a spokeswoman for Unocal said Sunday.

The fourth as been flown to the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle as a precaution, said Roxanne Sinz.

Names of the injured, described as contract workers, will not be released by Unocal, Sinz said.

The fire forced the evacuation of workers from the King Salmon Platform in Trading Bay on the west side of the inlet about 55 miles southwest of Anchorage. The 200-by-200-foot platform sits in 110 feet of water and has 24 wells. Sixteen are active. Unocal owns about 53 percent of the platform and Forest Oil owns the rest.

Sinz said that a stream of natural gas ignited as workers installed a new pump in a well to boost production.

Troopers and officials at Unocal notified the Coast Guard about the fire at about 3:40 p.m. Saturday.

Sinz said company personnel put out the blaze. The fire was declared out about an hour after it began, said Alaska State Trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson.

There were 52 workers on the platform. Of those, 33 nonessential workers were evacuated, Sinz said.

The most seriously injured worker received burns to his hands and perhaps his face, Sinz said. He was taken off the platform by helicopter and flown to Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna.

Sinz said the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The platform was installed in 1967. It produces about 7,000 barrels of crude oil and 3.6 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. The gas is used as fuel on the platform.

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