Second Oil Platform Explodes in Gulf of Mexico


Courtesy of NASA Goddard Photo and Video on Flickr.

The Associated Press reports that a Mariner Energy oil platform exploded earlier today off the coast of Louisiana, about 200 miles west of the epicenter of the recent BP spill. All 13 crew members were rescued. a mile-long sheen of oil originating at the second platform explosion is already visible.*

The explosion comes only hours after the announcement that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) would reopen 4,281 square milesof the Gulf of Mexico off the southwestern coast of Louisiana tocommercial and recreational fishing. No oil has been reported in thearea since the end of July, and shrimp, mackerel, and snapper caughtthere recently by NOAA officials have shown no signs of contamination. Over 48,000 square miles of the Gulf remain closed.

–Riley Blanton

*The original post has been edited. There was not a mile-long oil sheen resulting from this explosion.