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Gulf oil rig explodes

WEST COTE BLANCHE, La. – Coast Guard officials say an oil rig has exploded off the coast of Louisiana, sending four people to hospitals. Two are believed to be missing.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally, a spokesman for the Coast Guard, did not immediately have information on the conditions of those taken to hospitals.

The rig, a production platform owned by Black Elk Energy, is about 25 miles southeast of Grand Isle, La.

Lally said two helicopters, an airplane and small boats were sent to the area on Friday. He did not know if the fire caused by the explosion had been put out yet.

The platform is a production platform, unlike the Deepwater Horizon rig, which was drilling an exploratory well in mile-deep water well to the east of Friday’s reported explosion.

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