Blaze Erupts on Aussie Oil Rig

Leak spewing 400 barrels of oil daily
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Nov 2, 2009 1:44 AM CST
The West Atlas oil rig burns some about 150 miles off Australia's northwest coast today. The fire started when workers made another attempt to plug an undersea leak.   (AP Photo/PTTEP Australasia)
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(Newser) – A massive blaze has erupted from an oil rig in the Timor Sea off northwest Australia. The fire was sparked as workers battled to plug an undersea leak that has spewed 400 barrels of oil a day for the past 10 weeks. No one was injured in the fire and all workers were being evacuated. Officials of PTTEP Australasia, which owns the operation, said the only way to stop the fire is to plug the leak.

Experts are working to solve the problem, said an Australian government official. But opposition politicians have blasted the government for failing to take quick action to mitigate the environmental disaster, reports the BBC.