(NEW ORLEANS, La.) - Another oil rig explosion has been reported in the Gulf of Mexico, about 80 miles south of Vermilion Bay.
The Coast Guard says rescue crews from New Orleans and Houston are on the way to the rig on helicopters. The Coast Guard from Mobile says it has not been called out to help as of yet.
One person is missing, another twelve people have been accounted for.
The explosion happened around 9 a.m., and is believed to still be burning.
Updates as they come in.
UPDATE, 11:33 CDT: WDSU TV in New Orleans now says all 13 crewmembers are safe.
The rig is a shallow water unit, and the well is 340 feet below the surface. It’s not a deep water unit, so the BOP and hardware are on the deck and should prevent a significant spillage.
UPDATE: 11:40 CDT: WPMI TV in Mobile confirms no deaths, but provides conflicting report on water depth. Via AP, DHS says the rig was in 2,500 feet of water, not the 340 feet reported earlier.
UPDATE: 11:55 CDT: CNBC has this:
In comments to CNBC Thursday, a spokesman for Mariner Energy said "it doesn't appear that there is any spill or sheen to be seen on the water" following the fire.
"The fire occurred away from the well...it wasn't involved in the area where they had oil producing wells," said Patrick Cassidy, a spokesman for Mariner. He added that the facility isn't a drilling rig, but rather a production facility.
If the Deepwater Horizon incident and slow-motion disaster taught me, it’s to never breathe too freely when dudes start saying stuff like “it’s not that big of a deal, man!”
Update 1:30 pm CDT: And here’s why that’s wise:
The Coast Guard is saying that a mile-long oil sheen is spreading from the site off an offshore petroleum platform that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana.
UPDATE 2:30 pm CDT: Photo of the burning rig, before arrival of firefighting and salvage crews (thanks to WKRG-TV).
Update 6:15 pm CDT: Earlier reports unfounded, there is no oil leaking from the rig.