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    An Oil Rig Just Exploded in the Gulf of Mexico

    Written by

    Derek Mead


    Isn’t this just perfect. The day — one day! — after BP was handed a record $4.5 billion fine for the Deepwater Horizon disaster, a rig has exploded off the coast of Louisiana. As of right now, four people are being airlifted to hospitals and two are missing, who are believed to have jumped from the platform following the incident. Update: If two people jumped, they presumably died, which may explain why some reports say two are missing, and some say two dead.

    According to the AP, the rig is owned by Houston-based Black Elk Energy, and is located about 25 miles southeast of Grand Isle. A spokesman for the Coast Guard told the news agency that he did not know if the fire had been put out, but that an airplane and small boats were heading to the area. Local news station WWL-TV is reporting that the fire is under control:


    Grand Isle is located near where Deepwater Horizon was. The Black Elk platform is a production platform, which pumps and prepares oil or natural gas for shipping to Guard land. Deepwater Horizon, on the other hand, was a drilling platform that was in the midst of drilling an exploratory well when it exploded. The Black Elk platform is on a well that’s in shallow water, which should make it easier to access and deal with. It’s unclear if oil is spilling, but there’s this:


    I’ll believe that when I see it — or rather, when I don’t see the same old images of a coastline destroyed by oil. For on-the-ground coverage, WWL-TV has a live broadcast, and is on Twitter with the #platformfire hashtag.

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    Follow Derek Mead on Twitter: @derektmead.