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Oil rig explodes in Gulf of Mexico

An explosion has ripped through an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, west of the site of the April blast that caused the massive oil spill.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Casey Ranel said the blast was reported by a helicopter company about 9:30 am local time.

Initial reports indicated all 13 crew members from the rig were in the water. One was injured, but there were no deaths.

Coast Guard Commander Cheri Ben-Iesau said some of those from the rig were spotted in emergency flotation devices.

Seven helicopters, two planes and four boats were en route to the site. The rig is about 80 miles off the Louisiana coast, west of where BP's Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank in April, releasing millions of gallons of oil.

Ranel said it was not known whether the structure was a production platform or a drilling rig.

He said smoke was reported but it was unclear whether the rig was still burning.

Authorities do not know whether oil was leaking from the site.

The Department of Homeland Security said the platform was in about 2,500 feet of water and owned by Mariner Energy of Houston. DHS said it was not producing oil and gas.

The Deepwater Horizon rig leased by BP was in about 5,000 feet of water when it exploded, killing 11 workers and triggering a leak of about 206 million gallons of oil.

About 206 million gallons of oil from an undersea well spilled into the Gulf after BP's Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers.





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