Hunt continues after deadly explosion rocks oil rig

An explosion at an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday left one dead, another worker missing and hospitalised 11 more. Over the weekend ships and helicopters were […]

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By Vicky Ellis

An explosion at an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday left one dead, another worker missing and hospitalised 11 more.

Over the weekend ships and helicopters were looking for the two workers who vanished when the blast rocked the rig and set it on fire.

The oil rig off the coast of Louisiana, which is a hub for oil on the East Coast of the USA, was not producing at the time which meant there was little chance of an oil spill.

Yesterday the rig’s owner Black Elk Energy, a small US oil firm headquartered in Houston, Texas, announced the body of one missing worker had been found on Saturday.

The firm pledged to expand efforts to find the worker who is still missing, hiring three dive boats and contacting all helicopter firms in the area to help the search from above.

The US Coast Guard halted its own search and rescue efforts yesterday after a 32-hour-long operation spanning 1,400 square miles (3,626 sq km) around the oil rig.

Black Elk said in a statement: “We remain focused on the victims and their families, including those injured in the incident. An official investigation has begun to examine the facts surrounding this incident, and we will continue to cooperate with all authorities as this process develops.”

The blast has prompted questions about whether the industry has learnt from the lessons of BP’s disaster in the same region back in 2010. It comes a day after British oil giant BP was given a record $4.5billion fine by US authorities for its own explosion at its Macondo rig in the Gulf in April 2010, which killed 11 workers. The subsequent oil spill was the largest in recorded American history.