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Joined: Oct 2001
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Explosion on Mariner Energy oil rig in Gulf of Mexico


An explosion has torn through an offshore oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, west of the site of the blast in April that caused a huge oil spill.

The blast, which threw 13 people into the water, was reported by a helicopter company at 0930 local time (1330 GMT).

The platform, which caught fire, was not producing oil or gas, the Department of Homeland Security said.

The blast occurred around 130km (80 miles) south of Vermilion Bay along the central Louisiana coast.

Helicopters, boats and aircraft were sent to the site.

All 13 workers who fell into the Gulf are accounted for and have been transported to another platform by an oil support vessel, the Coast Guard said. One person is reportedly injured.
Mariner Energy website The platform is owned by Mariner Energy and is located off the Louisiana coast

Before being rescued by the support boats, all 13 workers were given special immersion suits to protect them from the water, said Coast Guard chief petty officer John Edwards.

The federal government was prepared to respond to the situation if there had been reports of pollution, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

Mr Gibbs added that President Barack Obama was in a national security meeting, and he was unaware if the president was informed of the blast.

The platform is owned by Mariner Energy and is located in shallow water, approximately 340ft (105m) from the floor of the Gulf.

"Right now we're focused on search and rescue and then, ultimately, as this thing progresses we're going to be looking into the cause," Mr Edwards said.

Mariner Energy Spokesman Patrick Cassidy told the CNN TV network the blast occurred "quite a ways away" from any wells.

Mr Cassidy confirmed the platform was not in production at the time of the explosion.

The structure had been undergoing maintenance activities prior to the blast, said Melissa Schwartz, spokeswoman for Bureau of Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement.

Seven Coast Guard helicopters, two planes, and three boats were sent to the site of the explosion from the states of Louisiana, Texas, and Alabama.

Coast Guard helicopters did not spot any oil floating around the burning platform, said Coast Guard fireman Katherine McNamara.

The latest explosion comes more than four months after an blast ripped through a Deepwater Horizon rig run by BP, causing about hundreds of million gallons of oil to be released into the Gulf of Mexico.

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Suzy Cream Cheese: "Can't happen here". Do you think Jr. reads the news?


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