100 flown from oil rig after piracy warning

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100 flown from oil rig after piracy warning

KOTA KINABALU: A scare over a purported attack by an armed foreign group on an oil rig off Sabah forced some 100 workers to be flown ashore to their homes on Wednesday. The scare also placed on extra alert all three wings of the Malaysian armed forces as well as the police, whose units were sent out to secure the Shell oil rig in the South China Sea.

Deployed from Labuan and other Sabah west coast barracks, the security forces surrounded the sea area around the oil rig, named St Joseph, situated about an hour's boat ride from Kota Belud and close to Pulau Mantanani and Pulau Tiga.

However, it turned out to be only a scare, according to sources.

By the time the matter was cleared up, rumours had spread that pirates had attacked an oil rig, and Shell workers began returning to Miri, Labuan and here.

"It is an over-reaction to a routine security advisory," Kota Belud district police chief Deputy Supt Dandi Jamal said yesterday.

He said the matter had been blown out of proportion after a routine security advisory message was given to Shell officials telling them to be on the alert against any suspicious sightings.

DSP Dandi said the company management, fearing for the safety of their staff, decided to evacuate their workers from the St Joseph rig.

"I do not know why they reacted that way.

"We usually keep in touch with the Shell officials in Kota Belud. The last reminder was sent in person instead of the normal radio or telephone communication.

"Maybe they took it seriously," DSP Dandi said, adding that in small towns like Kota Belud police usually meet the people personally to convey messages instead of telephoning.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), July 06, 2001


Hi! Martin, you being the reporter, could always find the pieces. As if anyone had enough intelligence to piece them together. Or to know when to sort the wheat from the whey. I have a challenge for you, I have exausted my measures. Ran across an Internet testimony which said: Eighty Sailors at N.A.S. Great Lakes, were given the mundane task of cleaning and repainting some war heads. Next thing you know, the humans are stricken with the "Flesh Eating thing is growing at the rate of 4 inches an hour. Story said, 76 of the 80, died before midnight. Normally, I would discount this. Along with the tabloids. No one took Rosewood seriously did they? Did any die from cleaning and painting War Heads at NAS Great Lakes? If so, Why? and why was it not on the news? I pass this ball to you, to discount or validate.

-- Gate Keeper (forus@all.com), July 06, 2001.

In this day and age it's hard to believe that such things are possible. It's like a science fiction movie.

-- LillyLP (lillyLP@aol.com), July 06, 2001.

Re this flesh eating bacteria story. It sounds like one of those internet legends. I don't think that that many would die in such a short time. I am sure that Andre could enlighten us on this. Never the less I will search around and see if there is anything to it.

-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), July 06, 2001.

Agreed, this sure sounds like one of those internet-fueled Urban Legends (akin to the amazingly long-lived "banana/flesh-eating bacteria" story). Haven't heard of anything like this from my professional sources, and the information provided doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

I don't have time to check the usual sources like www.snopes.com at the moment, but that's a good place to look.

-- Andre Weltman (aweltman@state.pa.us), July 06, 2001.

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