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2 Dead in US Gulf Oil Rig Explosion

Site of Black Elk Energy oil rig explosion
Site of Black Elk Energy oil rig explosion
The U.S. Coast Guard says an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana has exploded, leaving two people dead and injuring at least four others.

The Guard said the oil rig was not in production at the time and that it does not anticipate an environmental threat. Coast Guard Captain Peter Gautier told a local television station that it appears the explosion happened while maintenance workers were cutting into a pipe. He said leaking oil may have caused the blast.

The rig is in the Gulf of Mexico, the same body of water where a BP oil rig caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

The rig, owned by Black Elk Energy, is about 35 kilometers southeast of Grand Isle, Louisiana.

The explosion comes a day after BP reached agreement with U.S. prosecutors to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay a record $4.5 billion in penalties for the 2010 accident.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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