Black Sea Drilling Platform Still On Fire, Approaching Oil Well: Russian Lawmaker

A fire that broke out after Ukrainian forces allegedly fired at oil rigs off the coast of Russia-annexed Crimea is approaching an oil well, a senior lawmaker said Tuesday.

The Moscow-installed governor of Crimea on Monday blamed Kyiv for the attack, saying three people were injured and seven were missing after one Black Sea platform had been hit.

“As for the fire, it is not subsiding on the platform. At night, the fire approached the oil well,” Olga Kovitidi, a Russian senator for Crimea, told the Interfax news agency.

Kovitidi said that the “search continues” for the seven missing persons, while the three injured are in hospital but their condition is not critical.

“According to preliminary information, not everyone was saved but there is still hope,” Crimea official Oleg Kryuchkov said on Telegram.

This was the first reported strike against offshore energy infrastructure in Crimea since Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24.

Sergey Aksyonov, installed by Russia as the peninsula’s governor after the 2014 annexation, said Monday that three platforms were targeted, triggering the evacuation of 94 people on the sites.

The rigs belonged to the Crimea-based oil and gas company Chernomorneftegaz, sanctioned by the United States since 2014.

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