A team led by Texas troubleshooter Red Adair extinguished the largest fire still burning on the Piper Alpha platform, which was ripped apart by an explosion two weeks ago, operators said Wednesday.
Occidental Petroleum Corp., one of the rig's owners, said a fire in the wellhead was put out Tuesday night but that four other wells continued to burn.Adair's team pumped hundreds of gallons of sea water into the well to cool it before capping it with cement, a company official said. The work was halted, she said, because of strong winds that were blowing smoke and flames onto the Tharos, the rescue rig floating alongside the platform.
The explosion and fire wrecked the North Sea platform 120 miles off Scotland on July 6, killing 167 men. Two-thirds of the platform sank, trapping many victims. Only 35 bodies have been recovered. Another 131 men are missing.
Nearly 2,000 people, including relatives, survivors and government and oil industry officials, filled Aberdeen's St. Nicholas Church for a memorial service broadcast on radio and television across Britain, and to oil workers in North Sea rigs.
The city observed a minute of silence.