Thursday, September 2, 2010

Oil Rig Explodes Off Louisiana Coast

Oil Rig Explodes Off Louisiana Coast!!!

An offshore petroleum rig exploded and was burning Thursday in the Gulf of Mexico about 80 miles south of Vermilion Bay.

A spokesman for the Coast Guard told Fox News Radio that all 13 crew members on the rig are alive and have been safely accounted for. One person was injured in the blast, though the extent of that worker's injury was not known.

The rig, which is in about 2,500 feet of water, is owned by Mariner Energy of Houston and located 80 miles south of Vermilion Bay along the central Louisiana coast.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Thursday that the platform was not an active production site.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Casey Ranel said the blast was reported by a commercial helicopter company about 9:30 a.m. CDT on Thursday.

Ranel said it hasn't been determined whether the structure is a production platform or a drilling rig or whether workers were aboard. Ranel said smoke was reported but it is unclear whether the rig is still burning.Seven Coast Guard helicopters, two airplanes and three cutters were dispatched to the scene from New Orleans, Houston and Mobile, Ala. The Coast Guard said some of those from the rig were spotted in emergency flotation devices.

Authorities have not confirmed whether oil was leaking from the site.

"We obviously have response assets ready for deployment should we receive reports of pollution in the water," Gibbs said.

The Deepwater Horizon rig leased by BP was in about 5,000 feet of water when it exploded and sank in April, killing 11 workers and triggering a leak of about 206 million gallons of oil.


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