February 17, 1998 in Nation/World

Barge Hits Oil Platform In Storm

Associated Press

A barge collided with an offshore oil platform in stormy weather in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, starting fires on both and sending workers into the water, the Coast Guard said.

The accident occurred 20 miles south of Southwest Pass, just off the Louisiana coast.

Details were sketchy. There was no indication whether the workers jumped off either vessel or if they were knocked into the water, the Coast Guard said.

Coast Guard vessels, helicopters and firefighting equipment were en route to the scene.

It was the second day of rough-weather accidents on the Gulf.

On Sunday, the freighter Manzur, hauling calcium oxide and other chemicals, caught fire in the stormy Gulf.

The Manzur reached safe harbor Monday at Southwest Pass.

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