The Hercules 265 natural gas drilling rig suffered an explosion, caught fire, and finally partially collapsed on Wednesday, July 24, 2013. All 44 workers aboard the drilling platform were safely rescued without injury, but a day after the offshore accident, the fire is still raging.
According to CNN and other national news sources, the natural gas rig is leased by Houston-based Walter Oil & Gas Corporation and located about 50 miles off of the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico. The explosion took place at about 10:35 pm on Tuesday evening, though the cause of the accident is not yet known.
Currently, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has stated that there will be an investigation into the offshore accident and than groups were meeting to discuss how best to extinguish the fire, which is currently being fed by a natural gas leak. Two firefighting boats are near the rig waiting for help and instruction, while other vessels have been ordered to stay well away from the blaze.
Officials say that this is the worst platform explosion since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident, which killed eleven workers and injured dozens more. That accident and spill also released millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. This week’s rig accident released only a sheen of oil onto the surface of the water, which soon disappeared. Experts say that natural gas accidents do not pose a large threat to the environment like accidents involving oil.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an offshore accident in the Gulf of Mexico, you may wish to speak with a Texas offshore worker attorney. Call Vujasinovic & Beckcom today for more information: 877.724.7800.