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Rescue efforts under way after explosion in Gulf
[Posted at 11:53 a.m.] U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Bill Colclough tells CNN that 12 people from the production platform are in water immersion suits as they await rescue.
Colclough told CNN there are reports the production platform is still on fire.
"We don't know what caused the rig to catch on fire," he told CNN, noting the incident is under investigation.
Asked about concerns regarding oil leaks or pollution, Colclough said "there are reports the rig was not actively producing any product, so we don't know if there's any risk of pollution."
The incident comes nearly five months after a separate explosion on a BP rig in the Gulf triggered oil leak disaster.
[Posted at 11:43 a.m.] U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Bill Colclough tells CNN that all 13 workers involved in the production platform explosion are accounted for, but one person is injured.
Coast Choppers are on the way to the site 80 miles south of Vermilion Bay.
[Posted at 11:33 a.m.] An oil production platform has exploded 80 miles off the coast of Louisiana, with 12 people overboard and one missing, the Coast Guard said Thursday morning.
Rescue attempts are under way for at least 12 people, Coast Guard spokesman John Edwards told CNN. 13 people were on board the production platform total, Edwards said, noting 12 have been accounted for, but one person was missing.
The accident took place 80 miles off the coast of Louisiana on the Vermilion Oil production platform 380, which is owned by Houston-based Mariner Energy.
The Coast Guard has multiple helicopters, an airplane and several Coast Guard cutters en route. It's unknown if there are any injuries.
WWL: Coast Guard reporting rig incident
WDSU: 1 missing after rig explosion in Gulf
Filed under: Latest news
There were 13 workers on board but it is thought all of them managed to don lifesaving gear and jump into the sea.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said just one of the crew was injured and was being evacuated from the area.
He said a government response was ready if needed.
"We obviously have response assets ready for deployment, should we receive reports of pollution in the water," Mr Gibbs told a daily briefing.
So far, no oil has been spotted in the water but the platform is on fire.
US correspondent Greg Milam said: "You can imagine the shudder that a headline like that causes across America.
"The issue is whether there is potential of any pollution, any leak. What we are hearing from Mariner Energy... is it's a producing platform it's not a rig.
"Therefore from what we understand at the moment it wouldn't be drilling for oil, although the company has many hundreds of platforms in that region that do drill for oil.
"It could be that as a producing platform it might be storing some oil that has been brought up to the surface, but generally those platforms are used as staging points for other parts of the operation."
The fact that the platform is on fire is an encouraging sign because if any oil is burning it means it suggests it is not leaking.
The Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers.
The explosion caused millions of gallons of oil to leak because when the rig collapsed it fractured the pipe at the sea bed.
http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World- ... at_Blew_Up
only fragmentary news.......
do you think it a coincedence of EARL and this OIL RING ????
I just wach on cnn sayng that in firs report was a uge explotion of natural gas
So if it true maby it true that the sea floor is craking dow.....
All 13 people have been accounted for, said Petty Officer Bill Colclough of the Coast Guard. All are headed to a hospital in Terrebonne Parish, he said.
Colclough told CNN that authorities are trying to determine the cause of the blast, and that the platform apparently is still on fire from the explosion. Asked whether an oil leak has resulted from the explosion, he said the platform "was not actively producing any product."
"We do not know if there are any additional concerns of pollution," Colclough said.
However, the Coast Guard headquarters in Washington reported that the platform, fixed in 340 feet of water, was in production at the time of the fire. The type of operations was not immediately clear.
"This was an oil and gas production platform in approximately 340 feet of water, 102 miles offshore Louisiana (80 nautical miles)," said Melissa Schwartz, spokeswoman for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, which replaced the Minerals Management Service.
Colclough said Coast Guard helicopters and cutters are en route to the scene.
The explosion happened south of Vermilion Bay on the Vermilion Oil Rig 380, which is owned by Mariner Energy, said John Edwards, a chief petty officer with the Coast Guard in New Orleans, Louisiana.
A man who said he saw the oil platform blast in the Gulf of Mexico reported suddenly seeing "a bunch of smoke" coming up from the platform. David Reed, a paramedic on board a nearby oil rig, said radios started "lighting up like a Christmas tree" after the blast.
The explosion comes nearly five months after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded April 20, killing 11 people and causing oil to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, leading to one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history.
That oil rig, contracted by BP, had 126 workers, and sank after three days of the U.S. Coast Guard's efforts to put out flames.
An oil rig drills the well, which usually takes a period of weeks; a production platform is built after the well is drilled, and remains there for years. It pumps pressure down the hole to keep the well flowing, and sometimes collects the oil or gas.
U.S. agencies and BP worked to stop oil spilling from the ruptured Deepwater Horizon well, an onslaught of oil into the Gulf waters that could hurt the region for years. The well has been capped since July 15, and no new oil is flowing into the Gulf.
The failure of the well's blowout preventer triggered the April 20 explosion, and crews are expected to remove the equipment from the well since it may hold valuable forensic evidence as to why it failed.
The Obama administration tried to impose a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the wake of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon in April, but the ban is currently in legal limbo.
A group of companies that provide boats and equipment to the deepwater drilling industry sued to overturn the ban and won in June.
The government tried again in July, imposing a new moratorium and asking for the suit to be thrown out. A federal judge refused this week to dismiss it.
Schwartz said Thursday that the Vermilion platform did not violate the moratorium. "This platform was authorized to produce oil and gas at this water depth. The current suspension involves drilling rigs in water depths greater than 500 feet," she said.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday that the federal government has "assets ready" to respond to any environmental problems resulting from the explosion of an oil platform off the coast of Louisiana.
Mariner Energy describes itself as one of the leading independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the Gulf of Mexico. The company said it had interests in about 350 federal offshore leases last year, with more than 110 of the 350 in development.
The company has about 300 employees. Its most recent quarterly net income was $1.7 million.
Shares of Mariner Energy slipped 5 percent Thursday after the explosion. Shares of Mariner Energy fell $1.16 to $22.19.
The company is in the process of a planned merger with a larger company, Apache Corporation. The merger is about four to six weeks away, an Apache spokesman said.
source and video
http://edition.cnn.com/2010/US/09/02/lo ... &wom=false
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