PHOTOS: Vermilion Oil Rig Explosion


New Orleans photographer Jerry Moran captured these images on a fly-over at 5 p.m. (CST) Thursday (Sept. 2) as the Coast Guard responded to an explosion on the Vermilion Block 380, located about 100 miles off the coast of central Louisiana. The Coast Guard reports: the fire is out and there is no indication – despite earlier accounts – of an oil sheen, and there were no visible leaks.

Fortunately there were no serious injuries to workers. All 13 crew members were rescued from the water and evacuated to Terrebonne General Hospital. “We continue to investigate and to monitor that situation,” said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Peter Troedsson. The cause of the fire is not yet known, officials said.

A statement from Mariner Energy, which owns the platform, said that the fire was not sparked by an explosion. Mariner: the fire started at one of the platform’s seven active wells after a safety shutoff occurred.

Stay tuned…we’ll be posting updates as the dust settles.

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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