3 Sep 2010

Explosion on oil rig in Gulf of Mexico

2:49 pm on 3 September 2010

An explosion has ripped through an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, setting off a fire.

The United States Coast Guard says all 13 workers have been accounted for and have been taken to another platform by an oil support vessel.

The Department of Homeland Security says the platform was not producing oil or gas.

The platform, owned by Mariner Energy, continued to burn hours after the explosion on the rig, but was eventually extinguished.

The blast happened 130 kilometres south of Vermilion Bay along the central Louisiana coast, the BBC reports.

The platform is 150 kilometres from BP's Deepwater Horizon rig which exploded in April, killing 11 workers and unleashing an environmental disaster.

BP says it has begun removing a cap from that well, the first of several steps in advance of plugging the leak for good. The cap has shut off all oil flow from the leak since mid-July.