One of the two people hurt in an explosion on board the Equinor-operate Heimdal platform off Norway on Thursday is in a serious but not life-threatening condition.

The other worker has also sustained physical injuries and both continue to receive medical treatment as Norwegian authorities - including the police - open an investigation into the blast.

The two - a woman (19) and a man (22) - suffered injuries after a portable nitrogen gas container on the facility exploded on Thursday evening in what Equinor termed "a serious work-related incident".

In an update on Friday afternoon, the Norwegian state-controlled player said: "The condition of one of the employees who were injured in yesterday’s work-related incident on Heimdal is serious but not life-threatening.

"The other employee has suffered physical injuries that are not as serious as the colleague’s injuries.

"Both employees are receiving medical treatment in hospital."

There were 70 people on board the platform at the time of the incident. Equinor sent extra personnel to the facility on Thursday evening.

"It is too early to say something about the cause of the incident. The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway [PSA] and the police have traveled to the platform to start their investigations," Equinor said on Friday afternoon.

Equinor's vice president for development & production Norway Arne Sigve Nylund said: "This is a serious work-related incident that has strongly affected all of us. Our main priority now is to keep following up and supporting our injured personnel and their next-of-kin. Their colleagues on Heimdal ... are also being taken care of and we have sent extra personnel offshore to support them."

Nylund added: "We have also initiated an internal investigation and we are helping the police and other relevant authorities carry out their investigations in the best possible way."

The PSA said earlier on Friday a four-person investigation team was being sent to the platform.

"The principal objective of their work will be to establish the direct and underlying causes of the incident," it said.

"The PSA team is going out to Heimdal together with the police, and will support the latter in their inquiries in addition to pursuing its own investigation."

The PSA said its team will:

  • study the course of events in detail
  • identify and describe the actual and potential consequences of the incident
  • establish the direct and underlying causes
  • identify possible breaches of the regulations
  • contribute to experience transfer and learning lessons for other players in the petroleum industry.