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Fire fought by the book

October 19, 1998, 01:00 CEST

No panic was shown by the 139 personnel on Statoil's Sleipner A platform when a fire broke out on 18 October.

A total of 15-20 people were involved in fighting the blaze, which occurred in the evening.

No panic was shown by the 139 personnel on Statoil's Sleipner A platform when a fire broke out on 18 October.

A total of 15-20 people were involved in fighting the blaze, which occurred in the evening.


"People stayed calm," reports Oddgeir Lunde, search and rescue team leader, by telephone from the North Sea installation on the following morning.

"We're well trained, and could roll out fire hoses and turn on the water monitors more or less from habit."

Everyone was very concerned initially about the scope of the fire, Mr Lunde adds. For a few dramatic minutes, flames 30 metres high licked up the living quarters from the fifth storey to the helideck above the 10th storey.

"About 15 minutes after we'd started fighting the flames, white smoke began pouring from the site of the blaze," Mr Lunde explains. "We realised then that the fire was under control and that we could start damping down.

"I'm very pleased with the commitment shown by the fire-fighting team. The operation went by the book. We're now back at work and trying to normalise ourselves."

The fire is the principal topic of conversation today, reports platform manager Thormod Hope. "Everyone's related what they experienced yesterday evening."

He adds that nobody has needed to be demobilised as a result of the fire.