The bodies of the five deceased personnel of the FPSO unit Cidade de São Mateus, four Brazilian and one Indian national, have been brought to shore, the vessel’s operator BW Offshore confirmed.
The four Brazilian personnel that were reported missing after the explosion remain unaccounted for.
The explosion occurred on board the Cidade de São Mateus on Wednesday, February 11th. There were 74 workers on board at the time of the blast.
Search efforts for the missing people are scheduled to resume Friday.
Brazilian oil regulator ANP said that the explosion was caused by a gas leak in one of the machinery spaces. However, the agency could not provide more details as the site of the explosion remains flooded and inaccessible.
No oil leak was reported.
“Arrangements are being made for formal identification and release to family. Seven personnel with injuries are receiving medical care in hospital,” BW Offshore said in an update.
ANP said that the total number of injured in the blast was 26. The regulator has launched an investigation into the causes of the incident and potential breach of safety procedures.
BW Offshore management said it was in Vitoria with the crew, adding that support to personnel and next of kin was ongoing.
According to the update, the unit hull is confirmed to be intact. A specialist team has returned to the unit to evaluate if conditions are sufficiently safe to allow the search and rescue efforts to continue.
“This is a terrible day for the families of the men we have lost and our hearts go out to them. We remain determined to continue the search for those still missing”, said Carl Arnet, CEO.
The unit is operated for Petrobras by BW Offshore on the Camarupim and Camarupim Norte fields in Espirito Santo littoral approximately 120 km from the coast.