'Two dead' after explosion and fire on Gulf of Mexico oil rig
Nikhil Kumar is The Independent's New York correspondent. He was formerly assistant editor on the foreign desk and has also done a variety of jobs on the city desk, where he wrote about markets, commodities and other business and economics topics.
Friday 16 November 2012
Officials in the Gulf of Mexico are investigating an explosion and a fire that broke out aboard an offshore oil platform near Grand Isle, Louisiana.
At least four people were hospitalized following the accident, according to Coast Guard officials.
A local hospital spokesman later told CNN that all four were in critical condition, adding that doctors were working to stabilize them so that they could be transferred to a specialist burns unit.
The Coast Guard meanwhile said two people were missing, while a CBS News affiliate in Houston reported that two people had been killed in the explosion. The fire was reported to have been extinguished.
Although early details were sketchy, multiple outlets reported that the platform, which is owned by Black Elk Energy, was a shallow water production platform, differing from BP’s Deepwater Horizon deepwater rig which exploded in the Gulf in April 2010 and led to the worst offshore oil spill in US history.
There were no reports of a spill following the incident.
John Hoffman, the chief executive of Black Elk told the Houston Business Journal that the explosion and fire while a construction crew was finishing work on a water skimmer, which is used to separate water from oil.
A Coast Guard official, meanwhile, told a local TV station that 28 people were believed to have been aboard the Black Elk rig. Captain Peter Gautier added that a major environmental disaster was not expected, as the right was not actively producing oil.
The Coast Guard has set up a command center to investigate the incident.
A spokesman for Black Elk Energy could not be reached for comment.
The explosion occurred just a day after BP agreed to pay the biggest criminal penalty in US legal history after reaching a $4.53 bn settlement with US authorities over the Deepwater Horizon incident, which led to the death of 11 workers and spillage of nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf.
The company agreed to plead guilt to 14 counts of criminal misconduct to resolve all federal criminal charges stemming from the 2010 incident and claims by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US market regulator.
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?
Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent
"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier
Striker's four-month ban for biting an opponent expires on Friday
Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Secondary Science Teacher Jan 20...
£24000 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The Job:Te...
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: the job ? We are looking for...