AP: Witnesses reported 2 explosions on platform in Gulf — Oil-storage tanks may have ignited — Work boots, hard hat found floating (VIDEO)

Published: November 17th, 2012 at 5:15 am ET


Title: Two Missing in Gulf Fire
Source: Associated Press
Date: November 16, 2012, 8:30 p.m. ET

At 3:00 in

Federal officials continued searching the darkened waters of the Gulf of Mexico for two workers missing after an explosion and fire early Friday on an oil-and-gas platform.

Rescuers found two pairs of work boots and a hard hat floating in the water within a few miles of the platform, according to Commander Russ Bowen, who is coordinating the search and rescue mission for the U.S. Coast Guard. He said a witness reported seeing at least one of the men overboard.

[…] the accident left a thin film of oil floating in the shallow waters of the Gulf.

[…] “There is not believed to be any chance of major lasting environmental damage,” [Phyllis Darensbourg, a spokeswoman for the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources] said.

Black Elk Energy Chief Executive John Hoffman told reporters at the company’s Houston headquarters that the reason for the explosion is still unclear; early reports indicated that workers had been using cold-cutting tools to cut a pipe and may have switched to using a torch, sparks from which may have ignited two oil-storage tanks. If that turns out to have been the case, it means workers weren’t following proper procedure, Mr. Hoffman said, adding that an eyewitness reported that there had been two explosions. […]

Published: November 17th, 2012 at 5:15 am ET


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6 comments to AP: Witnesses reported 2 explosions on platform in Gulf — Oil-storage tanks may have ignited — Work boots, hard hat found floating (VIDEO)

  • markww markww

    Back in 1982 many companies dumped their safety departments saying we are safe now but every company is violating safety standards again by non monitoring and many safety people have ti turn their backs cause they are paid by the very company they are to protect and company management at times many times circumvent safety for output and the safety regulations take a back seat, these workers violated cold and hot welding and needed a second permit and a safety team there while they did the work. It was a hazardous area and work should have been stopped before they switched over to hot weld . There are procedures but again people may have been forced to violate safety standards to get some work done fast and the end results DEATH and DESTRUCTION. There needs to be people AGAIN PUT IN JAIL


    • Radio VicFromOregon

      markww, i was wondering about payments when i read about the safety inspector that will be on the BP rig for 5 years. i thought if this is a government inspector, then they had better paid him or her real well, cuz, BP can pay that person sooo much more. I think that ftlf is correct that many workers and supervisors go to great lengths to maintain safety. No one wants to die doing their job. But, a culture of laxity can get set up and it goes from there. But, in reading yesterdays article on this, it sounds like hundreds of men have died on oil rigs in the past several years from explosions, fires, and accidents.

  • jackassrig

    Since when does an angle grinder not throw of sparks. This is some more the management BS of blame the worker. Torches and grinders throw sparks. I doubt this poop for brains of a CEO was ever on a platform.

  • ftlt

    I was a pipe fitter by trade = 35 years… Safety protocols at oil refineries and other high risk sites are normally high… Sadly, human or systems errors always seems to find a way to screw the pooch – then people are injured and die and the environment suffers more too..
    What makes it different here is the off shore nature of these oil wells… And the environmental damage that can be done when errors occur out there…
    It is absolute hubris to believe, there will not be failures of systems and human errors made in and over our life giving oceans – when the transporting or mining for petroleum or other toxic resources is conducted …
    Once WW2 was our bench mark for destruction of the ocean environment… Today, we have gone far beyond that benchmark with errors caused by our endless thirst for petroleum and with our advanced technological abilities mine for oil and other toxics on it and in it… We are destroying the oceans and nature…

  • PurpleRain PurpleRain

    When I worked at a nuclear plant I got to know the Safety Officer and although he was a nice friendly-enough gentleman, he did not strike me as being someone with a whole lot of intelligence. He almost never left his office…was always making power-point reports with photo's that other department heads would send to him and he had no believe at all in climate change or global warming or – near as I could tell, anything at all that was what I would call 'hard-science.' I don't mean any offense to him personally, I'm sure that he's never even heard of this site…but…. I figure they put him in that job on purpose to basically 'yes-sir' everyone. (I don't mean to claim any special smarts myself– but well, you know. He just did not impress me as ever being a person who would ever-rock-the-boat).