Oil Rig Worker Search Continues Following Louisiana Explosion

When the oil rig off the coast of Louisiana exploded last Friday, two workers jumped off the burning platform. The names and the genders of these oil rig workers have not been released. The Coast Guard has been searching for more than twenty-four hours for any sign of the two missing workers.

Per ABC World News:

“An 87-foot Coast Guard cutter is searching the seas, while two helicopter crews and a fixed-wing aircraft crew search from above. They are searching a 1,400 square-mile area around the platform, according to a Coast Guard press release.”

According to reports, at least eleven oil rig workers were injured and four were severely burned during Friday’s blast. Jeffrey Littleton, a burn surgeon and chief of surgery, states:

“Of the four, two are in critical condition. The other two are in serious, but stable, condition. All four suffered major burns and the next 48-72 hours are critical.”

Black Elk Energy, a Houston-based firm, was in charge of the platform that was used for production and not for drilling. When a worker accidentally used a blowtorch instead of a saw to cut pipe, the explosion occurred and caused 28 gallons of fuel to pollute a half-mile area surrounding the platform. Because the rig was off-line, oil rig workers believed there was little risk for a spill.

Ed Cubanski, chief of the U.S. Coast Guard responds:

“The environmental threat as we know, there were 28 gallons that potentially were in that 3-inch line, 75 feet long, which would equate to 28 gallons of product.”