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(NEW ORLEANS) — A drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana is on fire after a natural gas well blew out of control on Tuesday.

The fire began just before 11 p.m. local time, when natural gas leaking from the well ignited, according to a statement from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s Eileen Angelico.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Carlos Vega told ABC News Radio a vessel witnessed the start of the blaze.

“The Coast Guard cutter Pompano was on scene approximately two miles away from the rig when they reported that it exploded and caught on fire,” he said.

No injuries were reported and no one was on board the rig at the time of the explosion — it was evacuated earlier when the leak first started.

Even though the rig is still burning, “the structure remains standing,” according to Vega.

He added that a coast guard cutter is on scene and another is on its way but “there are no plans made yet as to what they’re gonna do in response.”

Angelico said the source of the ignition is not yet known.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


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