2 believed missing, 4 sent to hospital after blast off Louisiana coast
A photo posted to Twitter by local Lafayette, LA KLFY TV10 is reported to show smoke billowing up from the burning oil rig in Gulf of Mexico.
Coast Guard officials say an oil rig has exploded off the coast of Louisiana, sending four people to hospitals. Two are believed to be missing.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally, a spokesman for the Coast Guard, did not immediately have information on the conditions of those taken to hospitals.
The rig, a production platform owned by Black Elk Energy, is about 40 kilometers southeast of Grand Isle, La
The platform, unlike the Deepwater Horizon rig, which was drilling an exploratory well in mile-deep water well to the east of Friday's reported explosion.
A parish official says the rig is not drilling at a deepwater site like the Macondo well that blew out in 2010. That blowout led to an explosion that killed 11 workers and led to the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
Lally says two helicopters, an airplane and small boats were sent to the area on Friday. He did not know if the fire caused by the explosion had been put out yet.
The Coast Guard says it has activated a command center to investigate the fire.
A spokesman for Black Elk Energy could not immediately be reached for comment.
Black Elk is an independent oil and gas company headquartered in Houston, Texas.
The company's website says it holds interests in properties in Texas and Louisiana waters, including 854 wells on 155 platforms.