4 injured, 2 missing after oil rig explosion near Louisiana - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

4 injured, 2 missing after oil rig explosion near Louisiana

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Four people are injured and two are missing after an oil rig explosion off the Louisiana coast on Friday.

The US Coast Guard said the fire has been put out.

Four people were taken to West Jefferson Medical Center near New Orleans.  Coast Guard aircraft and boats are looking for the two missing people.

The rig, a production platform owned by Black Elk Energy, is about 25 miles southeast of Grand Isle.  The rig is for oil production from an established well unlike the Deepwater Horizon rig which was drilling an exploratory well in mile-deep water when it blew up and triggered a massive oil spill in 2010.  That site is well to the east of Friday's explosion.

Local officials said the Coast Guard told them there was no pollution at the site.  Plaquemines Parish spokeswoman Caitlin Campbell said the Coast Guard reported the platform was intact and suffered no structural damage.

Coast Guard Capt. Peter Gautier told WWL TV the platform was not producing oil at the time and no environmental threat was anticipated.  Gautier said it was believed maintenance workers were cutting a pipe and some oil may have gotten loose, causing the fire.

A federal official in Washington said a team of environmental enforcement inspectors was flying to the scene.  David Smith, a spokesman for the Interior Department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, said the team was dispatched from a Gulf Coast base by helicopter soon after the Coast Guard was notified of the emergency. Smith said the team would scan for any evidence of oil spilling and investigate the cause of the explosion.

Black Elk is an independent oil and gas company headquartered in Houston. The president and CEO John Hoffman said their primary thoughts are about the people on the rig at the time.

"It's a terrible situation.  Our primary concern is for the people who were affected and making sure everyone is getting the proper care."

The company is about to start drilling 23 new exploratory wells, but this was not part of that project.

The company's website says it holds interests in properties in Texas and Louisiana waters, including 854 wells on 155 platforms.

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