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Statoil reviewing safety after April crash

More than a dozen employees died en route to offshore platform.

By
Daniel J. Graeber
Norwegian energy company Statoil starts in-house investigation into April helicopter accident that left more than a dozen employees dead. Photo courtesy of Statoil
Norwegian energy company Statoil starts in-house investigation into April helicopter accident that left more than a dozen employees dead. Photo courtesy of Statoil

STAVANGER, Norway, May 18 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company Statoil said it was conducting an internal review of an April helicopter accident that left more than a dozen employees dead.

A helicopter used by the company crashed April 29 off the coast of Norway after picking up passengers from a Statoil oil platform. The group on board included 11 Norwegians, one Italian and one British citizen, according to authorities. All were employees of Statoil.

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The company said it was ready to conduct an internal investigation on how to improve air transport connected to its work offshore.

"To us it is crucial that everyone going offshore to work is confident that we do our utmost to ensure their safety," CEO Eldar Saetre said in a statement. "We are therefore conducting an in-house investigation to identify measures for improving Statoil's helicopter safety effort."

The helicopter was en route from the Gulfaks B platform at the time of the incident. The Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway mobilized its response team shortly after the crash, but said that, since it was not responsible for aviation safety, its role would be limited.

Statoil said it would review its emergency response protocols, activity related to helicopter services and other related program operations during the investigation.

Saetre declared a state of mourning for the company after the incident, saying it was one of the worst accidents ever to hit the Norwegian oil industry.

Statoil's internal review is due Sept. 30.

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