Coast Guard searches for 2 after oil platform fire
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The eruption of a fire on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico — which left two workers missing and four others badly burned — is a vivid reminder of the dangers involved in offshore drilling and the risk it poses to the Gulf's ecosystem and shoreline.
The Coast Guard was searching Saturday for two workers missing after the fire broke out Friday, sending an ominous black plume of smoke into the air reminiscent of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion that transformed the oil industry and life along the Gulf Coast.
The blaze, which started while workers were using a torch to cut an oil line, critically injured at least four workers. Those workers were burned, but their burns were not as extensive as initially reported, said Leslie Hoffman, a spokeswoman for Black Elk Energy, which owned the platform. Their conditions Saturday were stable but critical, she said.
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