Oil Platform off the Coast of Louisiana ExplodesWith the memory of the Deep Water Horizon disaster still fresh in our memory, and BP just taking a plea bargain with the US government making them criminally responsible for the incident, comes the news of another oil platform explosion. While it doesn't seem to be as severe as the Deepwater Horizon incident was, people are dead, and this is a tragedy.
The platform caught fire earlier this morning. 11 people were airlifted off of the platform, but already 2 of the presumed 28 person crew are dead, and 4 more injured. Two more are still missing in the water, hours later. Apparently, they leapt off of the platform when it caught fire.
The fire is out now.
The incident happened while a worker was cutting pipe for the platform. One of the pipes must have had some oil still inside it, because the sparks set it off and caused it to combust. The rest of the platform quickly followed suit.
Fortunately, this oil platform was not producing oil at the time. Moreover, it is a shallow platform, which poses far less of a risk than a deep one like Deepwater Horizon. Even if a rupture did occur, it would be trivial to dive down and fix it.
Better still, it is believed that, despite the explosion, no more than 28 gallons of oil spilled into the ocean. a number that pales in comparison to the millions of the Deepwater Horizon. That is thanks to the platform being a production facility rather than a well, meaning that there was no hole tapped in the bottom.
As far as disasters go, this one is pretty tame. This could have been a lot worse. Deepwater Horizon might be an extreme example, but it shows how an ecological disaster can have a trickle-down effect to other areas.