Photo: KLFY-TV in Lafayette -- 2 Still Missing After Gulf Oil Rig Explosion
Two people remained missing Friday after an explosion on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard’s initial report mentioned two fatalities, but officials said later that there were no confirmed deaths from the disaster on the platform, which lies in shallow water around 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Grande Isle, Louisiana.
Fifteen of the 22 workers present at the time of the blast suffered injuries, including four who were critically hurt and had to be taken by helicopter to a hospital in Louisiana.
The officer directing the Coast Guard response, Ed Cubanski, said the search for the two missing workers continues with three helicopters and two rescue boats.
“We’re not facing, from what we can see, a major oil spill response here. We’re seeing a small sheen but it’s not a major environmental issue,” Coast Guard Capt. Peter Gautier said earlier Friday.
The rig is operated by Houston-based Black Elk Energy.
The explosion came a day after BP Plc agreed to pay $4.5 billion to settle criminal charges arising from the April 2010 blast on its Deepwater Horizon platform in the Gulf, an accident that caused 11 deaths and the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.