Fourteen workers were injured as a result of a blast on a pipe-laying vessel operated by Italian player Saipem on the Shah Deniz field in the Caspian Sea off Azerbaijan.

The fire broke out on the pipe-laying barge on Wednesday at about 18:30 local time.

A Saipem spokesperson told Upstream the name of the vessel is Israfil Huseynov, however no more information was forthcoming.

Multiple people were left with various degrees of burns and were hospitalised. Three of the injured - one from Malaysia and two locals - are in a critical condition, according to the Health Ministry in Azerbaijan.

The General Prosecutor's Office said that the accident occurred due to a technical malfunction in the equipment on the production line.

In a follow-up statement sent to Upstream, Saipem said: "Saipem regrets to advise that at approximately 6.30pm on 8 May there was a fire on board Saipem operated pipe laying vessel Israfil Huseynov.

"Fourteen people were injured and are now on board the vessel Citadel, which is expected in Baku at approximately 1.45am tomorrow [Friday].

"Ambulances are waiting to transfer the injured personnel to the Central Hospital of Oil Workers.

"Saipem is following the development on a continuous basis and will issue regular updates."