Two years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, another oil rig has caught fire in the Gulf just off the Louisiana shore today.
Coast Guard officials say an oil rig has exploded off the coast of Louisiana, sending four people to hospitals. Two are believed to be missing.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally, a spokesman for the Coast Guard, did not immediately have information on the conditions of those taken to hospitals.
The rig, a production platform owned by Black Elk Energy, is about 25 miles southeast of Grand Isle, La.
Lally says two helicopters, an airplane and small boats were sent to the area on Friday. He did not know if the fire caused by the explosion had been put out yet.
I will add more information here as it comes in.
Update (2:00 p.m.):
The Washington Post reports that the fire has been extinguished.
Taslin Alfonzo, spokeswoman for West Jefferson Medical Center in suburban New Orleans, said four injured workers were brought to the hospital in critical condition with second- and third-degree burns over much of their bodies. Three arrived by helicopter at 9:55 a.m. and one by helicopter at 10:10 CST. Two were sent by ambulance to the Baton Rouge Burn Center. Two others were to be sent later. She could not release identities or any other information.
The Coast Guard also reports that 26 people were on the platform when the fire broke out.