Investigators say there were three possible causes for the capsize of Russia’s Kolskaya oil rig in the Sea of Okhotsk in the country’s Far East on Sunday, an official said on Tuesday.
“We are considering three possibilities for what happened: violation of safe navigation regulations, the rig's technical condition and the weather,” the deputy head of the regional transport investigation department, Pyotr Solomakhin, told RIA Novosti.
The Kolskaya drilling rig was being towed in a severe storm when it overturned and sank some 200 km (125 miles) off Sakhalin Island early on December 18. Of the 67 people onboard, 14 have been rescued and 37 more are listed as missing. The death toll now stands at 16 people.
The Kommersant business daily said on Monday that about a half of all people onboard the oil rig were not authorized to be there. According to regulations, only the captain and a minimal part of the crew needed for the transportation process are allowed to be onboard when the rig is being towed.
The drilling rig, built in 1985 in Finland, was carrying out work under a contract with energy giant Gazprom. The rig, which is 69 meters long and 80 meters wide, can accommodate up to 102 people.