4 workers were seriously injured in fire aboard platform, 20 miles south-southeast of Grand Isle
2 persons were reported missing and 4 others were seriously injured following an explosion aboard an off-shore platform located approximately 20 miles south-southeast of Grand Isle in the Gulf.
The incident occured around 8:30am on a platform owned by Black Elk Energy of Houston. It appears the explosion was touched off as workers cut a pipe with an acetylene torch. The pipe contained a relatively small amount of oil.
The platform, situated in about 56 feet of water, was not producing oil. A "minimal" sheen was spotted in the Gulf.
Coast Guard Commander Ed Cubanski reported that 22 persons were aboard the platform at the time. 9 workers escaped injury and 11 others were sent to to four hospitals for treatment. 4 of the injured were reported to be badly burned.
Channel 4 television reported that 14 of the 22 aboard were employed by Grand Isle Shipyard which has offices in Grand Isle and Galliano.
David Smith, a spokesman for the Interior Department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, said a team was dispatched from a Gulf Coast base by helicopter soon after the U.S. 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.