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One dead in Gulf of Mexico rig accident

Federal regulators leading investigation, though no pollution reported.

By
Daniel J. Graeber

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- There is no pollution associated with an explosion on a drilling platform about 12 miles off the coast of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico, a regulator said.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said it was notified by oil and gas operator Fieldwood Energy of an explosion on its Echo Platform.

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Fieldwood said one contract worker was killed and three other employees were treated for injuries at an onshore medical facility.

"The Echo Platform was not in production at the time of the incident," BSEE said in a statement Thursday. "The facility damage was limited to the explosion area and there was no pollution reported."

Deadly rig incidents leading to major pollution in the Gulf of Mexico are rare. Last year, a natural gas plume at a sight in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and lead to the collapse of a rig owned by Hercules Offshore.

There were no injuries or major environmental damage tied to the incident.

Eleven rig workers died and oil spilled for months from the site of the Deeepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

BSEE said it was coordinating with the U.S. Coast Guard on the response to the Fieldwood accident.

"BSEE will investigate the incident," it said.

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