September 2nd, 2010
09:38 PM ET

Coast Guard: Platform on fire in Gulf; 13 workers rescued

[Updated at 9:36 p.m.] Earl has been downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane but is still dangerous, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 p.m. Thursday forecast. 
 
As of 8 p.m., the center of Earl was about 160 miles (260 kilometers) south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and about 625 miles (1,005 kilometers) south-southwest of Nantucket. It was heading north at about 18 mph (30 kph) with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph (165 kph). 
 
"Even if the center of Earl remains offshore ... hurricane force winds are expected to occur in the Outer Banks overnight tonight," the center said Thursday.

[Updated at 2:14 p.m.] For continuing coverage of the incident involving a production platform on fire in the Gulf read the full story here.

[Updated at 2:08 p.m.] U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Elizabeth Bordelon tells CNN there is a sheen at the site of the production platform that measures approximately 1 mile by 100 feet. This information comes after Gov. Bobby Jindal who said there were reports of a mile-long sheen.
[Updated at 1:03 p.m.] Mariner Energy, owner of the production platform, said in a press release that no hydrocarbon spill has been reported after an initial flyover of the incident.

"Mariner has notified and is working with regulatory authorities in response to this incident," the statement said. "The cause is not known, and an investigation will be undertaken. During the last week of August 2010, production from this facility averaged approximately 9.2 million cubic feet of natural gas per day and 1,400 barrels of oil and condensate."

The company also said no injuries have been reported.

[Updated at 12:48 p.m.] David Reed, a paramedic on board a neighboring oil rig located 14 miles from the platform that exploded, told iReport he saw all thirteen workers rescued from the water.

“We were up here in the radio room and all of sudden we saw a whole bunch of smoke coming from the platform," Reed said. "Shortly after all the radios started lighting up like a Christmas tree. They called any helicopters in the area, any boats in the area to respond, they were saying there were people in the water. There were multiple people in the water.”

See Reed's iReport of what he witnessed

WWL: Coast Guard reporting production platform incident

WDSU: Production platform explodes in Gulf

iReport: Did you see the explosion? Share images

[Updated at 12:32 p.m.] White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday that the federal government has "assets ready" to respond to any environmental problems resulting from the explosion of an oil platform off the coast of Louisiana.

[Updated at 12:31 p.m.] All thirteen people aboard a production platform that exploded in the Gulf are accounted for and safely on a commercial vessel according to initial information, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement.

"We continue to gather information as we respond with full force, and have oil spill response assets ready for immediate deployment should we receive any reports of pollution," the statement said.

[Updated at 11:53 a.m.] U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Bill Colclough tells CNN that 12 people from the production platform are in water immersion suits as they await rescue.

Colclough told CNN there are reports the production platform, which is for both oil and natural gas, is still on fire.

"We don't know what caused the rig to catch on fire," he told CNN, noting the incident is under investigation.

Asked about concerns regarding oil leaks or pollution, Colclough said "there are reports the rig was not actively producing any product, so we don't know if there's any risk of pollution."

Mariner Energy is a leading independent oil and gas exploration and production company in the Gulf of Mexico. About 85 percent of the company's production comes from offshore assets, with a growing share of that coming from deepwater developments.

The explosion comes nearly five months after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded April 20, killing 11 people and causing oil to gush into
the Gulf of Mexico, leading to one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history.

[Updated at 11:43 a.m.] U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Bill Colclough tells CNN that all 13 workers involved in the production platform explosion are accounted for, but one person is injured.

Coast Guard Choppers are on the way to the site 80 miles south of Vermilion Bay.

[Posted at 11:33 a.m.] An oil production platform has exploded 80 miles off the coast of Louisiana, with 12 people overboard and one missing, the Coast Guard said Thursday morning.

Rescue attempts are under way for at least 12 people, Coast Guard spokesman John Edwards told CNN. 13 people were on board the production platform total, Edwards said, noting 12 have been accounted for, but one person was missing.

The accident took place 80 miles off the coast of Louisiana on the Vermilion Oil production platform 380, which is owned by Houston-based Mariner Energy.

The Coast Guard has multiple helicopters, an airplane and several Coast Guard cutters en route. It's unknown if there are any injuries.

soundoff (1,154 Responses)
  1. TONG

    OUR HUMAN EYE CAN ONLY SAW FIVE PERCENTS ON THIS MOTHER EARTH OBJECT BUT THE OTHER NINETY-FIVE PERCENTAGE ARE INVISIBLE BABY , KARMA KARMA KARMA ARE COMING WHO CARE , WHO CAN BE CARELESS , AMEN

    September 2, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. oneStarman - Walla Walla, WA

    @DragonSoul wrote: "Unfortunately there is no way around the need to produce oil any way possible." That is NOT correct. Electric cars burn NO oil – Solar and Wind Farms require NO coal Algae can be converted to fuel of many kinds (The Air force just ordered Algal Oil be made into 400,000 Gallons of Jet Fuel for a Test) and other Bio-Oils can be used for stocks for synthesis. Also Algae for fuel could be produced in ponds built like Atolls to neutralize much of the fertilizer pollution creating Gulf 'Dead Zones' and provide Storm Protection as barrier islands

    September 2, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. sharon

    The company that bought this platform in July 2010 is Apache Corp. They also bought many other BP oil rigs/wells .....pick a country. Egypt,Canada and yes the US....Gulf of Mexico.
    Mariner Energy has been bought out,by Apache

    September 2, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. odysseus1965

    Strange coincidence, but i don't know the statistics on how often these things happen. Can anyone help out?

    September 2, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. obama

    Hmmm looks like this might have been true:

    http://www.therightperspective.org/2010/05/02/did-north-korea-torpedo-oil-rig-in-us-gulf/

    September 2, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. bbrooker

    Great, now Obama is gonna shakedown another poor oil company and will go golfing instead of diving down to fix the well and will blame someone else and... oops one of my three teeth just fell out! Oh well, gotta go to work at the Slim Jim factory anyway.

    September 2, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. regertz

    Thank God the guys are safe. We can hope there will not be another spewing disaster.

    What was that about not needing a moratorium until we checked to see these things are as safe as their owners assure us?

    And if there's no way to avoid these things and they are likely to increase in frequency as we increase demand why shouldn't we look at reduced dependence on petroleum? At least to see what could be done, we all know our world functions on oil and no one is going to give up his/her car (and therefore job, medical trips, food shopping, business) and most plastics tomorrow.

    September 2, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. rkm63

    Left-wing tactic=Create a Crisis. Obama and his cronies were dealt a blow yesterday:
    U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman denied the government’s request to throw out a suit challenging the drilling halt that had been filed by offshore-oil-service companies. Justice Department lawyers had argued the lawsuit was moot because the Interior Department imposed a new, temporary drilling ban on July 12, replacing a May 28 order that Judge Feldman had struck down in June.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/09/02/judge-deals-new-blow-to-drilling-moratorium/#ixzz0yOL4CKBK

    Weird timing, huh?

    September 2, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. danbeaches

    The locals seem to support (even if irrationally) continued off shore drilling and these thing are going to happen...not that big a fan of seafood anyway

    September 2, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. PARROT

    ANOTHER REASON NOT TO HIRE REDNECKS.....!!

    September 2, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • nonya

      "ANOTHER REASON NOT TO HIRE REDNECKS.....!!"

      Racist.

      September 2, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edison Carter

      redneck is a race?

      September 2, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JJ

    Stop buying gas and filling up your car gas tanks! Start using other means of transportation like Trains, Buses, Bikes..... I live in South Florida and i started taking a train everyday to work. Its a small effort on my part...but if enough people make the same effort we can make a difference.

    September 2, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. nonya

    "We continue to gather information as we respond with full force, and have oil spill response assets ready for immediate deployment should we receive any reports of pollution,"

    President's agenda modified:
    1) Play more golf
    2) Go on another vacation
    3) Curtailing cleanup efforts
    4) Blame Bush

    September 2, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. nonya

    "We continue to gather information as we respond with full force, and have oil spill response assets ready for immediate deployment should we receive any reports of pollution,"

    President's agenda modified:
    1) Play more golf
    2) Go on another vacation
    3) Curtail cleanup efforts
    4) Blame Bush

    September 2, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. goosepimple

    Just reported on NPR that there has been some leakage but the "Authorities" are trying to determine what the source is. They are to anounce a news conference shortly

    September 2, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. pat

    How many warnings do they need? I guess all those piles of money makes it hard to see the warnings.

    September 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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