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An oil platform has exploded and caught fire off the Louisiana coast in the US. This is the second such incident in the Gulf of Mexico in less than five months.
The oil rig explosion triggered fears of a repeat of the BP Deep Horizon oil spill in the same region earlier this year. However, the US Coast Guard said this time there was no oil leak and no one was killed.
Peter Troedsson, Chief of Staff, Eighth Coast District, said, "First, I am pleased to announce that all thirteen members aboard the oil platform have survived with no serious injuries. The fire is out, and Coast Guard helicopter on scene, and vessels on scene, have no reports of a visible sheen in the water. There is no report of an evidence of leaks, but we continue to investigate and to monitor that situation to make sure that that does not change."
The platform is in about 103 meters of water and about 161 kilometers south of Vermilion Bay on the central Louisiana coast. Its location is considered shallow water, compared with BP's well which spewed oil and gas in the April explosion.
Robert Gibbs, White House Press Secretary, said, "I am told this is a production platform about 100 miles off the coast. I am told the depth of water is about 340 feet, so this is not a deepwater facility."
Houston-based Mariner Energy, the company who owns the platform, said the fire began in 100 barrels of light oil condensate, but they did not know what sparked the flames.
Mariner officials said there were seven active production wells on the platform, and they were shut down shortly before the fire broke out.