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Brazil's Petrobras Faces New Troubles After Workers' Deaths

Published Jul 08, 2015 09:14AM ET Updated Jul 08, 2015 10:00AM ET
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© Reuters/Paulo Whitaker. The Petrobras logo is seen in front of the company's headquarters in Sao Paulo, April 23, 2015.
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By Sarah Berger -

Two workers died while working on a construction project at a Petrobras oil terminal in Brazil on Tuesday, Reuters reported.The workers drowned when a scaffolding collapsed at the end of a pier located at Transpetro's Barra do Riacho Terminal in Espirito Santo state. The scaffolding was operated by Transpetro, Petrobas’ pipeline and shipping unit.

FUP, a union representing oil workers, said that the workers were wearing security belts despite the fact that work authorizations recommended that they only wear life jackets. The security belts were locked to the scaffolding when it collapsed, which caused the workers to be dragged underwater and trapped. FUP said it took emergency workers and co-workers an hour to recover the bodies, Reuters reported.

The victims, Alex Vieira Ribeiro, 39, and Oseias Damasceno Soares, 27, worked for Transpetro contractor, Espiral Engenharia. Transpertro said it is investigating the accident.

Petrobras | FindTheCompany

An FUP affiliate also said there was a fire on a Petrobras offshore oil platform in northeast Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, Reuters reported. The fire occurred 30 meters from two leaking high-pressure natural gas lines. No one was injured in the fire, but automatic carbon dioxide extinguishing units and temperature sensors intended to extinguish fires automatically failed to work, so crews had to intervene manually, according to Reuters.

Petrobras, which was previously regarded as a pioneer in deep offshore drilling technology, had been Brazil’s most important and Latin America’s largest company in share value, the Los Angeles Times reported. In 2014, though, allegations of a billion dollar public corruption scheme decreased the company’s value. The company has also been hit by a string of deaths in Petrobras-related accidents. In January, an explosion at a refinery in Bahia state injured three workers. Then in February, an explosion killed at least five on a Petrobras offshore oil vessel, Reuters reported.

Brazil's Petrobras Faces New Troubles After Workers' Deaths

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