Natural Gas Rig Explodes in Gulf of Mexico

A natural gas drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and burned yesterday. This story has been flying under the radar, perhaps because of more important coverage of current births in the U.K., or perhaps because thankfully nobody died and, so far the environmental damage appears to be minimal—at least when compared to the BP disaster of 2010. But the fact remains, another well has gone south, and while the exact causes remain unknown, the blow-out preventer seems to be one of the prime suspects. Here’s what we do know so far.

A summary of coverage from Energy News, including video clips, is here.

The good news, besides the fact that 44 people escaped the rig uninjured, is that as of mid-morning today, the fire is apparently out. Here's a CNN update from mid-morning today.

Logically enough, the accident has raised more questions about safety practices on off-shore rigs and about what's wrong—if anything—with blow-out preventers, which, given their track record in the Gulf, seem to have a habit of failing at inopportune times. Here's the Wall Street Journal report.

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