One dead in ONGC rig accident at Ankleshwar

Vol 19, PW 17 (05 May 16) Exploration & Production

Hard questions about health and safety standards in the Indian oil sector will be circulating after a tragic accident last month (April) at ONGC's Nada field where one person was killed and another seriously injured.

PETROWATCH learns Tasbur Hussain Munnawar Hussain Malek, a 27-year-old electrician from Khambhat in central Gujarat, was crushed to death when part of a rig-hoisting system broke loose and fell; rigman Dinesh Vishwakarma escaped with serious injuries and is at a Vadodara hospital. Both were employed by Mehsana-based oilfield service provider Vishal Enterprise at Well#13 of the Nada field, part of the Ankleshwar asset.

An eyewitness tells this report a pipe removal operation was being completed by third party company APL, hired by Vishal, when the 'travelling block' [part of the rig-hoisting system] fell from a height after the steel wire rope used to pull pipes out from the well snapped. Malek was delivering drinking water to other workers when he was caught beneath the crashing block and died on the spot, his head smashed; Vishwakarma suffered serious injuries to his lower body.

Other workers ran to safety. Malek and Vishwakarma were rushed in an ONGC ambulance to a private hospital in Jambusar - but Malek was declared 'dead on arrival' by doctors.

Vishwakarma was subsequently moved to a Vadodara hospital. A complaint was lodged with the Jambusar police by one Kantibhai Haribhai Chaudhary.

Police are carrying out further investigations after registering a case of accidental death. ONGC and Vishal promise Rs8 lakhs ($12,000) compensation to Malek's family.