No Reported Injuries Following Gulf Rig Gas Rupture and Collapse

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After a rupture and a fire on a rig in the Gulf of Mexico (an incident that rings all too familiar for that area), the rig itself has partially collapsed.  As of yesterday, responders were attempting to get the situation under control and figure out what went wrong.

The rig in question was not used for oil but for natural gas and was operated by a company called Hercules Offshore.  On Tuesday night, Hercules was in the midst of getting a well owned by Walter Oil & Gas ready to conduct the gas.  A rupture took place, allowing natural gas to emanate from the well.  For reasons as yet unknown, that gas then ignited around 11 pm.

The good news is that the frame of time between the rupture and the actual ignition gave crews plenty of time to evacuate personnel.  The 44 people on board at the time were able to get away from the rig without incurring any reported injuries.

Unfortunately, the fire eventually became substantial enough to prompt the collapse of beams tasked with supporting the rig floor and the derrick.  Firefighters were dispatched to handle the blaze while Hercules attempted to work through how to staunch the flow of natural gas.  At the time of the above report, they were looking into the possibility of a relief well that could allow for the introduction of cement.