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Fire Burns on Alaskan Oil Platform

April 21, 2002

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ A fire ignited on an oil platform in Cook Inlet on Saturday afternoon, burning four workers.

The platform owner, Unocal, said its workers put out the blaze. It burned for about an hour, police spokesman Greg Wilkinson said.

A private boat evacuated 33 non-essential workers, Unocal spokeswoman Roxanne Sinz said. Fifty-two people work on the platform.

The injured workers were walking up a platform ladder when the fire moved toward them, burning their upper bodies. They all were contract workers, Sinz said.

A worker who was seriously burned was flown to a hospital in Soldotna. The other three injured workers were taken off the platform by boat and transported by ambulance.

The fire occurred while work was being done on one of the platform’s 24 wells.

``Apparently while they were performing this work some gas ignited,″ Sinz said.

The platform will remain shut down until the damage can be assessed, she said.

The The King Salmon Platform was installed in 1967. It produces about 9,000 barrels of crude oil and 3.6 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. The gas is used as fuel on the platform.

The platform is about 65 miles southwest of Anchorage.

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