NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Gun used to relight Total's Elgin platform flare

Total's Elgin platform Image copyright PA
Image caption The modified firearm was used as a back-up for relighting the platform's flare after the automated system failed

An oil company is working with police to establish whether a worker who used a gun to relight a flare on a North Sea platform had a firearms licence.

The incident happened on Total's Elgin platform, 150 miles (241km) east of Aberdeen, on 26 December.

The platform was shut down following a leak in the Forties pipeline.

As part of the restart process, the platform's flare had to be relit. A fault with the automated system meant a modified gun was used instead.

The gun fires magnesium cartridges.

The operation was successful, but it was not clear whether the worker who fired the gun was licensed to do so.

Police Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive are investigating.

Total said no-one was at risk as all personnel were inside the platform and work had been suspended.

Ch Insp Audrey Marsh, of National Firearms and Explosives Licensing, said: "I can confirm that Police Scotland has received a report highlighting concerns about the use of licensed firearms on the Elgin oil platform.

"An inquiry has commenced with the oil company Total and key partner agencies to establish the full circumstances."

Total said: "We are working with the authorities to clarify a firearms licensing matter."

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