2 Missing After Explosion on Gulf Oil Rig

Early reports say 4 injured off Louisiana coast
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 16, 2012 10:40 AM CST
Updated Nov 16, 2012 11:23 AM CST
File photo of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

(Newser) – A day after BP's historic settlement comes another oil rig accident in the Gulf of Mexico. Coast Guard officials say the rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana, sending four people to hospitals. Two others are believed to be missing. The rig, a production platform owned by Black Elk Energy, is about 25 miles southeast of Grand Isle, La. Coast Guard Capt. Peter Gautier told WWL TV that 28 people were believed to be aboard the rig. He added that the platform was not actively producing oil, and it is not believed there is any chance for a major environmental disaster.

Gautier said initial reports indicated that maintenance workers were cutting into a pipe and that oil may have escaped, causing the explosion. The platform is a production platform, unlike the Deepwater Horizon rig, which was drilling an exploratory well for oil giant BP in mile-deep water well to the east of today's explosion. Black Elk is an independent oil and gas company headquartered in Houston.

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