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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 September, 2003, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Second incident at oil platform
The Brent Bravo rig
Two workers died on the platform on Thursday
A safety incident has occurred on an oil platform in the North Sea just days after the death of two workers on the same structure.

A large section of pipe fell from a crane on Shell Expro's Brent Bravo platform off Shetland.

No-one was hurt in the incident on the platform, which lies 116 miles north-east of Lerwick.

The accident happened while police and safety experts were on board investigating the deaths of two oilmen on Thursday afternoon.

Nobody in the area

Jake Molloy from the offshore union OILC said the incident could have been much more serious had the platform been in operation.

He said: "They (Shell) were fortunate in several ways.

"Obviously there is only a skeleton crew on board so there was nobody in the area.

"We are looking at a piece of equipment probably in the region of a tonne in weight falling maybe 20ft-30ft in freefall."

Mr Molloy said Shell were also fortunate that the pipe did not fall into one of the well bays.

He said that there had been a number of failures of this type with the palfinger-type crane and the incident needed urgent attention.

A statement from Shell UK Exploration and Production confirmed the incident had happened at 1020 BST on Saturday.

It said that a piece of pipework was being moved from the pipe deck to the catwalk using a crane.

As it was being lowered it released from the crane and fell to the sub-structure, under the drilling rig floor.

Shell claimed that all procedures for moving pipework were followed correctly.

An investigation will take place and the Health and Safety Executive have been informed.

On Thursday, oil workers Sean McCue, 22, of Kennoway in Fife, and Keith Moncrieff, 45, of Invergowrie, Tayside died after a sudden escape of gas occurred while they were working inside one of the legs of the platform.

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