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Workers evacuate from oil platform in Gulf after it catches fire, Coast Guard says

A pre-dawn fire has been extinguished on an oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico, and there is no sign of pollution in the area, authorities said Thursday.

The blaze was reported about 2:30 a.m. Thursday on the platform about 80 miles south of Grand Isle, Louisiana, and was extinguished nearly four hours later, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

There were no reports of injuries. Four workers aboard the platform evacuated into the water in a life raft and were rescued by the crew of the 130-foot Mary Wyatt Milano, a supply vessel, the Coast Guard said. They were flown to a hospital in Houma to be evaluated, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said in a statement.

Oil production has been “shut in,” or suspended, on two Renaissance-owned platforms, including the one where the fire broke out, and 17 oil wells associated with the two platforms were shut in before the workers were evacuated, the statement said.

Crew members aboard the Mary Wyatt Milano and three other vessels battled the blaze. An HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane from Mobile, Alabama, also responded, said Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Third Class Travis Magee.

“They’re overhead and they’re getting a better view of the situation,” Magee said.

Clean Gulf, a nonprofit oil industry cooperative that responds to spills and provides equipment to help clean them up, was on its way to the platform Thursday.

An oil platform exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, killing 11 workers. Millions of gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf for weeks before the oil well could be capped.

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