Gulf platform fire extinguished; no injuries reported

Firefighting vessels extinguished an early morning fire on an oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico, authorities said Thursday. There were no signs of pollution in the area and no injuries reported.

The blaze was reported about 2:30 a.m. Thursday on Ship Shoal 266 about 80 miles south of Grand Isle, Louisiana, and was extinguished nearly four hours later, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The owner of the platform, Houston-based Renaissance Offshore, said the four workers onboard tried to fight the fire, but abandoned the platform due to heavy smoke. They evacuated safely aboard a life raft, the company said, and were rescued by a supply vessel.

A company spokesman, Oliver Marsh, said he did not yet know what caused the fire, but it was not an explosion. He said there was no indication of an oil spill; He didn’t know if the rig was actively pumping at the time of the fire.

Crew members aboard the 130-foot Mary Wyatt Milano, which rescued the oil workers, and three other vessels battled the blaze. An HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane from Mobile, Alabama, also responded, said Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Third Class Travis Magee.

“They’re overhead and they’re getting a better view of the situation,” Magee said.

Clean Gulf, an oil spill response organization, was on its way to the platform early Thursday. Clean Gulf is a nonprofit oil industry cooperative that responds to spills and provides equipment to help clean them up, according to its website.

The Coast Guard and the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement are investigating.

In 2014, Renaissance bought some of the largest oilfields from Black Elk Energy, which was headed to bankruptcy court. Black Elk was embroiled last week in a securities fraud scandal; one of its former executives, Jeffrey Shulse, was indicted by a federal grand jury.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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