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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 16:59 GMT
Two injured in gas platform fire
Gas rig smoke
The fire was captured on video by an RAF helicopter crew
Work on a North Sea gas platform has been suspended following a fire.

Two people were taken to hospital, one with burns and one with smoke inhalation. Crews put out the fire.

The offshore platform in Centrica's Rough field, with a crew of 58, is about 20 miles (31km) off Withernsea on the East Yorkshire coast.

Twenty-five essential staff remained on the platform, with the remaining 31 taken ashore by boat or helicopter, a Centrica spokesman said.

The two injured personnel were taken to Hull Royal Infirmary for treatment.

The platform is 20 miles out to sea
One RAF helicopter from Leconfield in North Yorkshire and two from Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk were scrambled by the Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre at RAF Kinloss in Scotland.

The platform stores North Sea gas for UK consumption.

The platform can supply about 10% of the UK's peak gas demand. The closure caused wholesale gas prices to rise 40%, but they fell again later.

A spokesman for Centrica said: "We are shocked and saddened about what has happened. We have a very good safety record offshore at the facility. All the people there are expert in what they do.

"As a precaution we have reduced manning on the platform to essential levels. The remainder of our personnel have been safely evacuated.

"The platform has been depressurised and made operationally safe."

Operations at the platform have been suspended until further notice, the spokesman said.




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