Gas Well On Fire After Blowout In Gulf Of Mexico | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Gas Well On Fire After Blowout In Gulf Of Mexico

A natural gas well off the coast of Louisiana was on fire Wednesday, one day after a blowout forced 44 workers to evacuate. There were no injuries reported.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement says the mishap at Well A-3 below a "Hercules 265 jack-up rig," about 55 miles off the Louisiana coast, was first reported around 9:45 a.m. ET Tuesday.

According to The Associated Press, the fire began later in the day. The wire service adds that:

"Officials stressed that Tuesday's blowout wouldn't be close to as damaging as the 2010 BP oil spill, in which an oil rig, the Deepwater Horizon, exploded off the Louisiana coast, killing 11 workers and eventually spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico."

According to the BSEE, "inspectors reported a cloud of natural gas above the rig and a light sheen on the water one-half mile by 50 feet in area that is quickly dissipating." A firefighting vessel was said to be on the scene.

Update at 12:55 p.m. ET. Rig Has Partially Collapsed:

A BSEE spokesman tells NPR that beams supporting the rig have "folded" and the structure has partially collapsed.

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