Natural gas rig blows out in Gulf; 44 workers safely evacuated, Coast Guard says



A rig believed to be producing natural gas blew out in the Gulf of Mexico around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. All 44 workers on board were safely evacuated form the Hercules No. 265 rig about 40 miles southwest of Grand Isle, said Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer Bill Colclough.

No injuries have been reported. The workers escaped the rig on two Hercules off-shore lifeboats, then transferred to an offshore supply vessel, the Max Cheramie, which is on its way to the shore.

The Coast Guard dispatched a cutter helicopter and two aircrafts to assist and monitor the evacuation. Coast Guard officers will report any environmental impacts, Colclough said.

The cause of the blow-out is still under investigation, he said.