News organizations in Lousiana are reporting that three people were injured — two badly burned — in an oil rig explosion Wednesday.
The news of the explosion arrives just hours after Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that an offshore drilling ban would remain in place until 2020 in certain sections of the Gulf.
The U.S. Coast Guard received a report at about 10:15 a.m. Central time, that three people were injured on the rig, which is roughly 20 miles south-southeast of New Orleans, Petty Officer Thomas Blue of the Coast Guard told the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper.
There was no immediate status report on the condition of the rig, said Kenneth L. Padgett, director of Jefferson Parish emergency management, WDSU reported.
UPDATE (8:37 ET) Multiple news outlets are reporting that the rig that exploded this morning was a workover rig positioned south of New Orleans.
Jefferson Parish emergency officials say the men’s hands and faces were burned in an explosion during welding on the rig on Bayou Perot, about 20 miles south of New Orleans (KATC.com).
The men’s identities have not yet been released at the request of their families.
UPDATE (8:57 ET) According to FuelFix.com, the rig is owned by a company called Grosse Tete but the company that reported the incident was Louisiana Delta Oil. The fire that occured after the explosion is out and so far there are no reports of pollution in the water surrounding.
“This rig isn’t really in the Gulf of Mexico, but rather is in one of the areas of open water that make up the Lousiana delta,” reports FuelFix. “And from the pictures it looks more like a land rig that’s on a barge, far from a large, sophisticated rig like the Deepwater Horizon.”
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