Coast Guard: Search Suspended for Two Missing Crewmembers Following Platform Explosion, Photo Reveals Damage [UPDATE]

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November 16, 2012

GULF OF MEXICO – Commercial vessels spray water to extinguish a platform fire on board West Delta 32 approximately 20 miles offshore Grand Isle, La., in the Gulf of Mexico. First responders medevaced nine of the platform’s 22 personnel to nearby rigs. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

*UPDATE*  as of 5:25PM on 17 November:  The USCG has suspended its search for the 2 missing rig workers.  In the past 32 hours, 1,400 square miles of ocean have been searched using the following assets:

The US Coast Guard has released the following statement on the explosion on board an offshore production platform today off the coast of Louisiana.

NEW ORLEANS – Coast Guard crews are searching for two missing crewmembers following a platform explosion approximately 20 miles southeast of Grand Isle, Friday morning.

Eleven crewmembers have been medevaced from the Black Elk Energy-owned platform to various local hospitals. Nine additional crewmembers were safely evacuated off the platform. The fire has been extinguished, and a sheen has been spotted in the area.

The Coast Guard is currently searching with response boats from Coast Guard Stations Grand Isle and Venice, the 87-foot Coast Guard CuttersPelican and Razorbill, an HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft crew and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala., and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station New Orleans.

The cause of the incident is under investigation by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Coast Guard will assist as needed.

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