Three Asian workers dead as Saudi offshore platform sinks

24 Aramco members were saved after the incident and three others are reported missing

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Saudi coastguards have found the bodies of three Asian workers at sea after they went missing when an oil company’s offshore platform sank, officials said Saturday.

“They were all found. We found two of them late yesterday and another one this morning,” Eastern Province Coastguard spokesman Colonel Khaled al-Arqubi told AFP.

Aramco confirmed in a statement that the bodies of three missing crew members -- two Indians and a Bangladeshi -- had been found.

The platform belonging to Saudi oil giant Aramco sunk Friday as it was being used to carry out maintenance work at an oil well in Safaniya, the world’s largest offshore oilfield about 265 kilometers (165 miles) north of Dhahran.

Dhahran is the headquarters for Aramco, the world’s largest oil company in terms of production and reserves.

In a statement emailed to AFP on Friday, Aramco had said the remaining 24 crew were saved but that some had suffered “limited injuries.”

On Saturday, Aramco said it had “promptly dealt with the incident seeking support from the company’s helicopters, boats, special diving teams, and medical evacuation teams.”

The company said its teams had reacted to the sinking “effectively, limiting its effect on workers aboard the platform.”

A thorough investigation had been launched into the accident, the Saudi company said, adding its operations had not been affected.

Discovered in 1951, the Safaniya field is 50 kilometers by 15 kilometers and has a production capability of more than 1.2 million barrels per day.

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