1 Body Found in Oil Rig Explosion

But another worker still missing

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Nov 18, 2012 5:58 AM CST

(Newser) – Divers hired by the owner of an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico that caught fire recovered a body in the waters near the site, according to the US Coast Guard and the rig's owner. The remains of the unidentified person were found by divers hired by Houston-based Black Elk Energy, who were inspecting the platform. The Coast Guard will be turning over the remains to local authorities. John Hoffman, the president and CEO of Black Elk Energy, wrote in an email last night that the body is apparently that of one of two crew members missing since the explosion Friday. "Divers will continue to search for the second missing worker," Hoffman wrote. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families."

Hoffman said the body was found close to the leg of the platform, near where the explosion occurred, in about 30 feet of water. He said the missing men were employees of oilfield contractor Grand Isle Shipyard. The GIS CEO stressed in a statement that the cause of the fire and explosion is unknown, and said "initial reports that a welding torch was being used at the time of the incident or that an incorrect line was cut are completely inaccurate." Meanwhile, officials said no oil was leaking from the charred platform, a relief for Gulf Coast residents still weary two years after the BP oil spill. Four other workers who were severely burned remained at Baton Rouge General Medical Center last night.

In this image released by a oil field worker and obtained by the AP, a fire burns on a Gulf oil platform Nov. 16, 2012, after an explosion on the rig, in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast.
In this image released by a oil field worker and obtained by the AP, a fire burns on a Gulf oil platform Nov. 16, 2012, after an explosion on the rig, in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast.   ((AP Photo))
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