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Mar 25,2008
North Sea divers forgotten, suit says
by UPI

OSLO, Norway - Relatives of British deep-sea divers said the Norwegian government forgot about their sacrifice in the exploration for oil in the North Sea in a suit Tuesday.

The families of seven deep-sea divers filed a suit to seek compensation from the Norwegian government, claiming it is responsible for the deaths due to faulty equipment and long work hours, The Times of London said.

Several foreign and Norwegian divers died from faulty decompression and other issues during a North Sea oil boom in the from the 1960s through the 1980s. Several divers descended to below 1,300 feet, which is twice as deep as standard safety limits allow.

Norway, which prides itself on its human rights record, acknowledged it has moral and political responsibility for the divers' deaths but said it holds no legal responsibility to compensate the families in large-scale claims.

Norway paid almost $500,000 to several families involved and a group of 24 divers claiming they were used as "human guinea pigs" filed a class-action suit against the Norwegian government. The British families reportedly hope to join the class-action suit.

The first witnesses testify this week in a court in Oslo, Norway.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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