Nine reportedly injured, two missing in U.S. oil rig blast
Chicago, IL, United States (4E) – At least nine people on Friday sustained serious injuries in a huge fire that erupted after an explosion on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico offshore of Louisiana.
Initial reports claimed the death of two people in the incident, which could not be confirmed yet. Twenty-six people had been on board at the time of explosion.
The authorities have managed to control the fire, said Petty officer Ryan Tippets, ruling out reports of any oil spill.
Tippets said that he is more concerned of safety of the personnel on board the platform at present. According to Louisiana’s emergency management office’s spokeswoman, the rig was not pumping oil when the explosion happened.
“It was a fire on what is called a shut-in rig, which is one that is not actively producing oil. They were doing some work on it,” Christina Stephens of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness told AFP.
The incident came exactly a day after the U.S. government and British oil giant BP signed a deal nearly two years after devastating oil spill, which also began with an explosion on a rig.