The U.S. Coast Guard in New Orleans confirms there is an offshore platform burning in the Gulf of Mexico. A spokesman says the Coast Guard just activated a "command center" to investigate the incident. There is not much information available yet as to the location or size of the rig. The Coast Guard is expected to release additional details later this morning.
The Coast Guard says that 9 people have been airlifted out and two are missing after an explosion at a platform in the Gulf of Mexico south of Grand Isle Friday morning.
Ed Cubanski, a spokesman for the Coast Guard said that despite earlier reports there are no confirmed deaths in the incident. He said an active search is ongoing for two crew members.
The four people airlifted to West Jefferson Medical Center were said by a spokesperson Taslin Alfonso to be in critical condition. They were being treated in anticipation of being shipped to the Burn Center in Baton Rouge.
Grand Isle officials said two others who were on the platform were being treated by EMS in Grand Isle and considered to be "walking wounded." There conditions were not known.
Plaquemines Parish and Grand Isle officials said the fire was under control though a handful of people were still on the platform battling the fire as of 11 a.m. According to the Coast Guard the structure of platform is "intact with no structural damage. There was believed to be no oil leaking into the Gulf.
There were 28 people were on the platform at the time of the explosion and nine people were involved in the incident, according to officials from Plaquemines Parish. CBS News reported that two jumped into the water and they were believed to be the ones missing.
Captain Peter Gautier of the Coast Guard said the platform, run by Black Elk Energy, was not producing oil and no enviromental threat is anticipated. A federal official says a team of environmental enforcement inspectors is flying to the scene.
The United State Coast Guard confirms to KATC that it is working a rig explosion at this hour in West Cote Blanche. The explosion took place at 9:00 on a rig in West Delta Block 32. The Coast Guard could not confirm any other information at this time. Once we receive more information, we will pass it along.
This a picture of an oil platform in the Gulf sent to us by a viewer. We are working to gather confirmed information. The Coast Guard tells us "something" has happened but they are still gathering information. We called the company that we believe owns the platform they said: "people connected to the platform would be contacted if needed." They would not go into any further detail. We are working to gather confirmed information and will update ASAP. This image is from a friend in the gulf. He says it is west delta.