Fire broke out early Tuesday on an offshore oil and natural gas production platform in the Gulf of Mexico after the 51 workers had already started to evacuate.
No injuries were reported.
Workers had been drilling a well from the platform, about 100 miles southeast of Cameron, La.
A noise, possibly the hiss of escaping gas, alerted the crew that the new wellhead was in danger of blowing out and they shut down other wells on the platform before boarding a supply boat, said T. Frank Murphy, vice president of American Exploration Co., the Houston company that owns the platform.
Firefighting efforts on the platform about 100 miles southeast of Cameron, La., spread a thin sheen of oil on the surface of the ocean, said Coast Guard Lt. Paul Dittman in Port Arthur.
He estimated it involved only about 1 gallon of oil even though it spread about 200 feet wide and a quarter-mile long.
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