Louisiana Oil Rig Explodes, Killing at Least Two Workers

Many of you were less than pleased with yesterday’s news that BP pled guilty for its role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and massive Gulf oil spill. Apparently, Mother Earth agrees that the $5 billion settlement is too little, far too late.

Multiple news outlets are reporting that another deadly explosion has occurred at an offshore oil drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana about 25 miles southeast of Grand Isle. The U.S. Coast Guard reports that the explosion killed at least two workers and sent four others to hospitals early Friday while two others are believed to be missing. Authorities say that despite the explosion and fire, the structure of the platform is “intact with no structural damage” and no oil is believed to be leaking into the Gulf.

This slightly contradicts a statement by the Coast Guard’s Captain Peter Gautier, who told WWLTV that the incident occurred as maintenance workers were cutting a pipe and some oil may have gotten loose, causing the fire. As of 12:12 pm ET, a company spokesperson said that the fire had been extinguished.

David Smith, a spokesman for the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, said the team was dispatched from a Gulf Coast base by helicopter soon after the U.S. Coast Guard was notified of the emergency. Smith said the team would scan for any evidence of oil spilling and investigate the cause of the explosion.

Thankfully, as CBS reports, the platform run by Black Elk Energy is an oil-gas production platform, unlike the Deepwater Horizon rig, which was drilling an exploratory well in mile-deep water, so the potential for environmental damage is limited.

While we’re thankful to have avoided another oil spill disaster, this incident simply hammers home what critics of offshore drilling have said for years: it’s not a safe industry, and accessing more atmosphere-polluting oil is not a valid reason to put human and animal lives at risk.

Care2 will monitor this event and update the post if and when new information becomes available.

[Update] Grist reports that just one month ago, Black Elk Energy moved forward on plans to drill 23 new wells in the Gulf. The company’s president and CEO, John Hoffman, used to work for BP, among other companies.

Related Reading:

Shell’s Inadequate Oil Spill Response Plans Threaten America’s Arctic

Secret Oil Spill Has Been Poisoning The Gulf For 7 Years

A Legacy Of Lies: The BP Oil Spill Two Years Later

Image via Thinkstock


Debbie Williamson
Solitary Eagle5 years ago

thank you

anne r.
Tom R5 years ago

At what price is their spill enough, Does it really matter what they pay since YOU PAY their inflated prices and they will utilmately pass the cost along to YOU really. They never lose because they (BP) knows that you are dependent on their oil and your continued dependence only makes their dependence on drilling more for YOU. How about making a car that isnt dependent on OIL. What a concept, what a thought -- going back to the horse and buggy really sounds more appealing and better for horses too

Grace Adams
Grace Adams5 years ago

Now that we are able to drill horizontally and great distances both horizontally and vertically, it should be possible to drill for oil under the outer continental shelf from a drilling platform on dry land. About half our military budget is actually justified for defending our own territory. About a fourth is about being the world's biggest bully. About a fourth is just pork barrel. Maybe our national government could buy renewable energy equipment from our military industrial complex firms instead of military pork barrel and then barter that renewable energy equipment for fossil fuel displaced by it. The federal government owns roughly 10% of coal-fired electric generating capacity. The federal government would continue either using the electricity or selling it to customers, pay the fossil fuel firm for the coal displaced, and the fossil fuel firm would deliver to the federal government a deed to the fossil fuel stating how much and exactly where it is. When the users of the electricity are customers of a private electric utility firm, the government would deliver physical possession and control of the renewable energy equipment to the electric utility but legal ownership to the fossil fuel firm turning into a renewable energy firm, the electric utility would pay the cost of the coal or other fossil fuel displaced to the fossil fuel firm, which would deliver to the federal government a deed to the fossil fuel stating how much and where it is, Thus, the fossil fuel

Lynda Duke
Lynda Duke5 years ago

Less than displeased would be an understatement. Furious would be more like it. It seems like none of those OIL Rig owners have learned a lesson on how to maintain safety on these rigs, and yet another rig blows up. Does it not say that the managing of OIL Rigs is showing a large amount of carelessness? Does it not say that these rigs are NOT SAFE? I don't like having these rigs in the waters as it is, and even more so now that BP is going to be paying billions in damages as well as jail terms. I say turn off those wells and reinspect all of them!

Gail L.
Gail L.5 years ago

I agree with you Evelyn M. I hop those who were working on the platform are not the ones responsible for this blowing up, to get back at the courts for making their employer pay for their bad deeds. If that is the case, then I guess they brought their own deaths onto themselves. Sorry to sound cold, but how long did it take for the last accident to be recognized, and how long did it take for the oil company, and rig company to do anything about cleaning up the mess that they made? Too long to fix the damage done.

Billie C.
Billie C5 years ago

the oil industry is very dangerous. rip to the men that lost their lives. i hope their families find peace.

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

Drill drill, kill. kill.

Isabel Araujo
Isabel Araujo5 years ago

Rest in peace all those who died and may God be with their families..

As for us,let's prepare to help with the environmental damage, no matter how minnimal it is. We can't forget that the effects of the BP spill are still feeling, and if we add this new one... Well, we must be ready to act. The Gulf cannot withstand more loss of life. Thank you.

Liliana G.
Liliana Garcia5 years ago

Eminent domain? As long as people do not confront such a parasitic law, it will prevail. If it is immoral, it should not be respected. It is used to favor the upper one percent just as it happened in New London, Connecticut. (The Navy stopped its bombing once the pressure of the people gained enough momentum. They stopped in 2003 after sixty years or so of bombing.) Vieques has had the highest rate of cancer among the Puerto Rican population for many years...

Christopher M.
Christopher M.5 years ago

Vieques. Ever heard of eminent domain? The government can seize any land provided they give compensation. I am surprised they bomb an inhabited island, why are there still people on Vieques? On the other hand, there are other rocks and islands the Navy can bomb, some uninhabited