Oil Rig Explosion in Gulf Leaves Two Missing

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 16 2012 12:40 PM

Oil Rig Explosion in Gulf Leaves Two Missing

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A file picture shows the oil slick passing inside of the protective barrier formed by the Chandeleur Islands, as cleanup operations continue for the BP Deepwater Horizon platform disaster off Louisiana, on May 7, 2010

Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images.

Some scary news out of the Gulf of Mexico: There has been an explosion on an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana. Details are still sketchy, but at least four people have been hospitalized with injuries and another two are missing. The good news: So far there have been no reports of any oil spillage.

ABC News with the details on the rig:

The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that a Black Elk Energy Co. oil and natural gas platform had some sort of explosion occur in the gulf, sending plumes of black smoke into the sky over the water. ... The platform was located about 20 nautical miles southeast of Grand Isle, La., when the explosion happened, Vega said. It is not clear whether the platform is still burning.
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The rig in question is said to be a production platform and, better yet, one that wasn't producing at the time of the blast, something that greatly decreases the chances of a major oil spill. The Deepwater Horizon, unlike this rig, was a drilling platform that was operating in mile-deep water when it was destroyed by a blast, leading to the massive, months-long oil spill of 2010.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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