Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Louisiana Gulf Rig Fire Sends 4 to Hospital

Coast Guard officials said an oil rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana, sending four people to hospitals Friday while two others were believed to be missing.

Gulf Oil Rig Fire
An oil rig explodes off the coast of Louisiana (YouTube)

Coast Guard spokesman Drake Foret said the fire was out in the meantime. Four people were taken to West Jefferson Medical Center near New Orleans and Coast Guard aircraft and boats were searching for two missing people.

The rig, a production platform owned by Black Elk Energy, is about 25 miles southeast of Grand Isle, La.

The platform is for oil production from an established well, unlike the Deepwater Horizon rig, which was drilling an exploratory well for oil giant BP in mile-deep water when it blew up and triggered a massive oil spill in 2010. That site is well to the east of Friday’s explosion.

Local officials said the Coast Guard has told them there was no pollution at the site. Plaquemines Parish spokeswoman Caitlin Campbell said the Coast Guard reported that the platform was intact and suffered no structural damage.

Coast Guard Capt. Peter Gautier told WWL TV the platform was not producing oil at the time and no environmental threat was anticipated. Gautier said it was believed that maintenance workers were cutting a pipe and some oil may have gotten loose, causing the fire.

A federal official in Washington said a team of environmental enforcement inspectors was flying to the scene.

David Smith, a spokesman for the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, said the team was dispatched from a Gulf Coast base by helicopter soon after the Coast Guard was notified of the emergency. Smith said the team would scan for any evidence of oil spilling and investigate the cause of the explosion.

A spokesman for Black Elk Energy could not immediately be reached for comment.

Black Elk is an independent oil and gas company headquartered in Houston, Texas.

The company’s website says it holds interests in properties in Texas and Louisiana waters, including 854 wells on 155 platforms.


(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Best of NJ 101.5

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for New Jersey Insiders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive New Jersey Insiders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.