Nine months after 31 workers drowned in Azerbaijan’s worst-ever oil industry disaster, the country’s authorities have still not said a word about how it happened or what mistakes could be avoided in future.
Most of the victims were thrown into the water when a lifeboat smashed against
the side of production platform no. 10 at the Guneshli oil field in the Caspian sea, as they tried to escape a fire during a force 10 gale on 4 December last year.
The Oil Workers Rights Protection Organisation (OWRPO), a campaign group, says state oil company managers broke safety laws for the sake of keeping production going, and that workers did not even have life jackets on during the attempt to evacuate the platform.
State officials lied to the media and the public during the emergency, and treated oil workers’ families with contempt, the OWRPO said in a report published in February.
The government was quick to dismiss the report – but its own 14-person commission, set up to deal with the disaster’s consequences, has not breathed a Read the rest of this entry »