A video that has recently surfaced online shows a gas exploration platform collapsing into the ocean, with at least a dozen panicked workers jumping or falling into the rough waters. This dramatic video has been shared all over Iranian social networks, and tallies with reports form Iranian media explaining that a gas platform sunk into the Persian Gulf last Tuesday.
This video was widely shared by Iranians on YouTube and Facebook.
We have not been able to reach the person who first posted the video online, and whose description of the video closely matches Iranian news agencies’ reports. Our Iranian Observers, meanwhile, have not been able to confidently confirm that the people yelling in the video speak Persian, as the background noise is extremely loud. However, the platform seen in the video looks just like one pictured on the Iran Marine Industrial Company (SADRA)’s website:
Photo by SADRA
SADRA issued a statement on January 30, explaining that one of their platforms had sunk due to “unforeseeable circumstances” that involved the shifting of the sea bed. The private company said that all the proper security measures had been in place, and that studying this incident would help them in their future operations. The statement did not mention whether any workers had suffered injuries.
Fars News Agency added that the platform sunk to a depth of 80 metres. According to Fars News, this platform was part of Iran’s South Pars gas field project, which holds half of the country’s proven gas reserves. Iran’s Mehr news agency, meanwhile, reports that Iran has called for help from foreign companies to recover the platform, which weighs over 1,000 tonnes and cost about 29 million euros.
This is not the first such incident in Iran. Two years ago, a gas rig sunk near Iran’s sea border with Oman.
Omid Habibinia contributed to this post.