Sounds like 2 died
Coast Guard officials said an oil rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana, killing at least two workers and sending four others to hospitals Friday. Two were believed to be missing.
Petty Officer Carlos Vega, a Coast Guard spokesman, told CBS News that the total number of people onboard the rig is not known but could be as many as 10 people.
The fire, which has not been put out, was the result of an oil rig explosion approximately 20 nautical miles southeast of Grand Isle, La., Vega said.
CBS Houston affiliate KHOU-TV reports two workers had died and another two were missing, according to the Coast Guard.
Four other injured workers were air-lifted to a hospital, Kirk Trascher, a spokesman for the rig’s owner, Black Elk Energy in Houston, told KHOU-TV.
A Louisiana parish official said the rig is not drilling at a deepwater site like the Macondo well that blew out in 2010. That blowout led to an explosion that killed 11 workers and led to the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts told CBS New Orleans affiliate WWL-TV that the platform is a shallow water platform in the Gulf of Mexico. It is near West Cote Blanche Bay, south of New Iberia on the south-central Louisiana coast.
The Coast Guard said it has activated a command center to investigate the fire.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally, another Coast Guard spokesman, did not immediately have information on the conditions of those taken to hospitals.
Lally says two helicopters, an airplane and small boats were sent to the area.
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 Friday’s reported explosion.
Black Elk is an independent oil and gas company. The company’s website says it holds interests in properties in Texas and Louisiana waters, including 854 wells on 155 platforms.