4 injured, two missing in Gulf oil rig fire

1:56 PM, Nov 16, 2012   |    comments
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GULF OF MEXICO - The U.S. Coast Guard said Friday that four people were taken to the hospital by helicopter from an oil platform that exploded into flames off the coast of Louisiana.

A federal official says a team of environmental enforcement inspectors is flying to the scene.  One Congressional source says the fire was caused by acetylene torch cutting oil line.

David Smith, a spokesman for the Interior Department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, said the team was dispatched from a Gulf Coast base by helicopter soon after the U.S. Coast Guard was notified of the emergency.  Smith said the team would scan for any evidence of oil spilling and investigate the cause of the explosion.

Coast Guard officials say two people are missing and four others were taken to hospitals after the explosion at a platform 25 miles southeast of Grand Isle, La. The platform is owned by Black Elk Energy.

The site, a production platform -- not a drilling rig -- is owned by Houston-based Black Elk Energy. It is located about 25 miles southeast of Grand Isle, La.

There were no initial reports of oil spills.

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