Gulf Rig Fire Out, Coast Guard Backpedals on Oil Sheen
An oil platform exploded and caught fire Thursday off the Louisiana coast, the second such disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in less than five months. All 13 crew members were rescued from the water in protective survival suits.
The Coast Guard initially reported that an oil sheen a mile long and 100 feet wide had begun to spread from the site of the blast, about 200 miles west of the site of BP’s massive spill. But hours later, Coast Guard Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesau said crews were unable to find any spill.
The company that owns the platform, Houston-based Mariner Energy did not know what caused the blast.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Mariner officials told him there were seven active production wells on the platform, and they were shut down shortly after the fire broke out.