UPDATE 1-Coast Guard suspends search for two Gulf oil rig workers

Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:54am IST

Related Topics

Nov 17 (Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard halted its search on Saturday for two workers still missing a day after a fire erupted on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana.

Three helicopter crews, a Coast Guard cutter and a fixed-wing aircraft crew spent the day searching a 1,400 square-mile (3,625 square km) area around the platform, operated by Houston-based Black Elk Energy, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The search was suspended at about 5:25 p.m. Central time, a Coast Guard spokeswoman said.

The blaze was touched off on Friday when workers were welding a pipe on a deck of the platform in shallow waters. Twenty-two people were on board the rig when the fire broke out and unleashed a black plume of smoke. Eleven workers were evacuated and nine others were taken by helicopter to hospitals.

Four workers airlifted to Louisiana's West Jefferson Medical Center suffered second- and third-degree burns to large parts of their bodies, said Taslin Alfonzo, a hospital spokeswoman.

The incident occurred a day after oil giant BP agreed to pay a record $4.5 billion in penalties for its role in the 2010 Gulf oil spill that killed 11 workers and spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil.

The Black Elk-operated rig was off-line at the time of the fire and there was little risk of a major oil spill, officials said.

The platform sits in 56 feet (17 meters) of water some 17 miles (27 km) south of Grand Isle, Louisiana and production had been shut down since mid-August, Black Elk said.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which enforces offshore drilling regulations, is investigating the fire.

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Markets Weekahead

Markets Weekahead

Focus on sectors which will build India: Ambareesh Baliga.  Full Article 

FMC-SEBI Merger

FMC-SEBI Merger

Regulatory shakeup could revive commodities markets   Full Article 

Tax Incentives

Tax Incentives

Budget woos foreign investors  Full Article 

Excise Duty

Excise Duty

Cigarette makers fall after budget hikes excise duty  Full Article 

Welcoming the Budget

Welcoming the Budget

India Inc cheers corporate tax cut, simpler rules  Full Article 

Gold Price

Gold Price

Gold prices to rise after budget keeps import duty high  Full Article 

Fuel Prices

Fuel Prices

IOC to raise diesel, petrol prices from Sunday  Full Article 

Moody's on Budget

Moody's on Budget

Budget "credit neutral" from a ratings perspective - Moody's   Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage