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Saturday, 9 December, 2000, 10:24 GMT
Workers return to oil platform
Oil platform flare
The platform is 100 miles east of Shetland
Workers evacuated from a North Sea oil platform during a safety scare are returning to the rig.

Fourteen staff were flown to Shetland after a routine inspection showed structural damage.

The precautionary downmanning operation was carried out on the Ninian Southern installation 100 miles east of Shetland.

Ninian Southern is operated by Kerr-McGee North Sea.

Routine inspection

The company said downmanning was a standard operating procedure.

It was started as a precautionary measure after a routine sub-sea inspection on Friday afternoon.

This revealed a flooded cross-member on the platform's structure, 74 metres below sea level.

The platform has now been declared safe and workers were returning on Saturday.

Evacuation procedure

Production was not affected and no-one was injured during the incident.

The company said 131 staff remained on board the platform after 14 were airlifted by helicopter to Shetland at the start of the evacuation procedure.

Kerr-McGee added that all the relevant authorities had been notified.

The US-based company operates six North Sea fields - Janice, Gryphon, Hutton, Murchison, Ninian and Lyell.

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30 Jul 00 | Scotland
Workers airlifted in rig gas alert
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