Britain says North Sea incident ‘contained’

Britain evacuated of oil workers from a North Sea accommodation platform on Sunday after reports of a bomb threat but officials said the incident was quickly contained and there was no need to send in a bomb squad.

Fourteen helicopters and a Nimrod reconnaissance aircraft were sent to the Safe Scandinavia platform in the Britannia oil field, 210km north-east of the Scottish city of Aberdeen, following a security alert, officials said.

Sky News said the evacuation followed a bomb threat, apparently made by a woman on board, but officials would not confirm the nature of the security alert. Sky later quoted sources as saying the episode was being treated as a hoax.

There was no information immediately available on whether the incident had affected production.

A police spokesperson said the incident had been ”very quickly contained from a police point of view”. Nobody had been arrested, she said.

”It is understood the incident was sparked by comments made by a woman on the installation,” said a spokesperson for the Kinloss Royal Air Force (RAF) base in Scotland, which had aircraft involved in the operation.

The Ministry of Defence in London was preparing to send a bomb-disposal team but a spokesperson said later the bomb squad had been stood down. ”I think everybody is safe,” a ministry spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said about 500 oil workers were being evacuated to other platforms and there were no reports of any injuries.

BBC News 24 quoted sources as saying the incident was not terrorist-related.

The RAF spokesperson said 14 helicopters were involved in the operation.

”There’s a security alert. We’ve been requested to send out helicopters,” he said.

”It is a major response to a potential situation, rather than a known situation,” he added.

The Nimrod was dispatched to the area to oversee the helicopters’ operations.

The Safe Scandinavia is owned and operated by Oslo-listed company ProSafe. No one was immediately available for comment on the incident. — Reuters

Make sense of your world

Subscribe to Mail & Guardian at R10/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Public protector to investigate president

ANC MP Mervyn Dirks has asked Busisiwe Mkhwebane to investigate Ramaphosa’s ‘failure to report corruption’

NPA fails to deal with R7.8bn in Covid-19 corruption

Not ‘trial ready’: 386 Special Investigating Unit referrals lead to just one case in court so far

Cyril the Bullet Dodger

The presidential bobbing and weaving over ANC campaign funding is about to come to an end

Just three car models make up nearly 50% of SA...

‘Toyota Quantum and HiAce vehicles are on road on a semi-full-time basis and travel more kilometres vs other models and would, thus, be exposed to more on-road conflict situations,’ the report reads
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×