Oil rig explosion in Gulf of Mexico injures four - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Oil rig explosion in Gulf of Mexico injures four

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VENICE, La. (AP) — Coast Guard officials say an oil rig fire has been put out after an explosion off the coast of Louisiana that sent four people to hospitals. Two others were believed to be missing. Coast Guard spokesman Drake Foret said four people were taken to West Jefferson Medical Center near New Orleans.

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.

There was no immediate word if any oil had spilled from the platform.

A federal official says a team of environmental enforcement inspectors is flying to the fire. 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 US 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.

Lally says two helicopters, an airplane and small boats were sent to the area. He did not know if the fire caused by the explosion had been put out yet.

The platform is a production platform, unlike the Deepwater Horizon rig, which was drilling an exploratory well for oil giant BP in mile-deep water well to the east of Friday's reported explosion.

A spokesman for Black Elk Energy could not immediately be reached for comment.

Black Elk is an independent oil and gas company headquartered in Houston, Texas.

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