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North Sea rig workers evacuated from floating hotel after it begins tilting

Statoil on Wednesday evacuated 326 oil rig workers from a North Sea platform after the structure began to tilt, the Norwegian oil company said.

Company spokesman Ole Anders Skauby said most of the 374 people on the "Floatel Superior" were airlifted by helicopter after one of the floating pontoons started taking on water, causing the structure to list. The company was notified about the problem in the early hours of the morning.

Some security staff stayed on the accommodation rig to stabilize the platform. There was no immediate danger to the life and safety of the workers, Skauby said.

Statoil said oil production was not affected as the oil field had been closed for maintenance.

The Njord field, named after a Norse god, is located some 130 kilometers (80 miles) northwest of the city of Kristiansund off the Norwegian coast.