The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to a fire aboard a natural gas drilling platform located in Alaska’s Cook Inlet which prompted the evacuation of all personnel.
The Coast Guard said it has launched several assets to the scene including a Coast Guard Hercules HC-130 plane and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to conduct overflights, as well as the Coast Guard Cutter’s Mustang and Spar. At least two commercial vessels are on scene conducting firefighting operations.
The fire is reported onboard the Baker Platform in Cook Inlet, near Nikiski. The platform is owned by Hilcorp Energy Company.
A five-mile, no-fly safety zone at 5,000 feet and a two-mile safety zone have been established around the platform, the Coast Guard said.
All four people aboard the platform have been safely evacuated.
Photos from the scene showed flames and thick black smoke billowing from the platform.
Local media reports have said that the source of the fire has been secured, according to a Guard Guard official. There are reportedly 10,000 gallons of diesel on the platform and so far no pollution has been spotted in the water.
Local KTVA and others have reported that the fire is believed to have originated in the platform’s living quarters.
The fire was reported to the Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center shortly after 8:30 a.m.
“Our goal is to mitigate any potential risk to the environment,” said Cmdr. Shane Montoya, the Coast Guard Federal On-Scene Coordinator and acting Coast Guard Sector Anchorage commander. “We will work closely with all parties involved to establish a unified command.”
This story is developing…
— Kyle Hopkins (@kylehopkinsAK) October 2, 2014