Rig catches fire in Gulf of Mexico

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The U.S. Coast Guard has confirmed that a fire ignited Friday morning on an offshore oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico and helicopters, a plane, and two boats are searching for two missing workers, along with commercial vessels that were in the area.

At this time, there are no reports of oil leaking from the platform.

The fire was confirmed extinguished shortly after 11 a.m. Friday.

WGNO News has confirmed that the explosion happened after 9 a.m. in West Cote Blanche. It’s in the area known as West Delta 32, about 24 miles southeast of Grand Isle.

The U.S. Coast Guard tells WGNO News that 26 people were on the rig at the time of the fire. Nine workers were airlifted from the platform.

Coast Guard stations in Grand Isle, New Orleans and Mobile are all helping with the search and rescue efforts.

Taslin Alfonso with West Jefferson Medical Center, the hospital which received the workers, says three of them were in critical condition, the fourth was being evaluated.

Jefferson Parish Councilman Jeff Roberts tells WGNO News that all critical condition patients will be sent to Baton Rouge General Hospital.

He says Grand Isle EMS is tending to other evacuees, some with non-critical injuries.

Jefferson Parish President John Young has said it’s a non-producing platform, but workers were performing maintenance at the time.

The U.S. Coast Guard tells WGNO News that the platform is owned by Black Elk Energy.