updated 2/10/2008 9:58:47 AM ET 2008-02-10T14:58:47

Hundreds of workers were being evacuated from an oil rig in the North Sea following an apparent bomb scare Sunday.

A fleet of 14 military and coast guard helicopters was evacuating 539 workers from the Safe Scandinavia rig, 170 miles off the coast of Aberdeen, eastern Scotland, following a security alert, the Ministry of Defense said.

A bomb disposal team was put on standby at the request of Scottish police, a defense ministry spokesman said.

"This is not a fire, escape of gas, anything like that. It's just precautionary measures being put in place," the Royal Air Force said in a statement. Employees were being taken by helicopter to other rigs in the North Sea.

Sky News television reported that an explosive device was found on the rig and that comments by one employee sparked the security alert.

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