12 Jun 2010

Alert over natural gas leak in Gulf of Mexico

1:58 pm on 12 June 2010

About 800 workers aboard 120 vessels have been recalled to shore in the Gulf of Mexico after others aboard a supply boat were hospitalised from exposure to a natural gas leak.

BP says the crews were brought back as a precaution after a supply vessel accidentally broke open a gas line while mooring at a gas platform off southwest Louisiana.

Officials say a small amount of natural gas escaped from the platform leak before it was promptly shut off.

The 120 vessels are among 3600 vessels involved in tackling the BP oil leak in the Gulf.

However, Coast Guard officials said that the incident was not connected to the response to the oil disaster, which began after an offshore drilling rig exploded on 20 April. It sank two days later.