KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 — Workers on an oil rig in the Andaman Seas off the coast of Myanmar have lost contact with ground control since the military coup in Myanmar on February 1.
According to a report by Mingguan Malaysia, roughly 200 workers aboard the Yetagun oil rig owned by Petronas are stranded aboard the platform and have had no contact with the Malaysian embassy nor their employers.
One worker said the employees were hired by a contractor working for Petronas and would usually only spend 40 days at a time at sea.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the same staff are kept on for longer durations. However, since the coup, they have not had contact with anyone and are running out of food and gas.
“We are worried for our safety as there has been no contact with ground control nor the embassy since the coup.
“The supplies we have left can only last till February 10 or 11,” said the staff adding that all the workers are hunkering down.
The same person also said that they were told to stop work for only a day and resumed operations a day after the coup. Some of the staff have already been sent ashore but the main issue now is helicopter services have been grounded.
The helicopters are stationed in Dawei, a city south-east of Myanmar and is believed to have been taken over by the Junta.
“There are no helicopters now; we believe they are now under the control of the Junta. We have no idea what’s happening over there,” said the staff member who has been on the platform for four months.
With visa issues, the pandemic and the coup the staff urged the government or his employers to take swift action or their situation could become dire.
Governments around the world are calling for the restoration of Myanmar’s democracy after the military staged a coup, arresting civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other politicians.
Suu Kyi and other top civilian leaders were taken into custody by soldiers on the same day as the first new parliamentary session was due to be held since a national election last November.