There are fears a gas leak at a North Sea drilling platform could take months to bring under control.
Some 240 workers at Total’s Elgin Franklin platform were evacuated at the weekend after the leak was discovered.
A British trade union representing the staff said the rig is surrounded by a cloud of gas. Jake Molloy a regional officer of the RMT union said: “Well, if the reports we are getting from the people coming off the installation are accurate, extremely serious – I mean for the sea … bubbling with gas below the installation is an extremely dangerous situation.”
Molloy says drilling a relief well to ease the pressure could take months. Total has not yet commented on the cause of the leak or the need to drill a relief well. A spokesman said all possible measures were being taken to bring the well under control.