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Petrobras P-36 (2001)

The semi-submersible Petrobras 36 drilling rig ranked as the largest mobile unit of its kind in the world when it capsized and sank off Brazil in March 2001.




This article was originally published in
Safety - Status and Signals 2012-2013

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Ignition of a hydrocarbon leak, leading to an explosion in a tank in one of the support columns, was the immediate cause of the disaster.

Eleven members of the firefighting team were killed.

The tank was not classified as explosion proof, and large volumes of water flowed in.

P-36 rapidly developed a substantial list and, despite great efforts to save it, vanished beneath the waves a few days later.