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Blast rocks rig in Gulf

The Coast Guard is responding to an explosion involving an offshore petroleum structure in the Gulf of Mexico.

Petty Officer Casey Ranel says the blast was reported by a commercial helicopter company about 9:30 a.m. today. Seven helicopters, two airplanes and four boats are en route to the site, about 80 miles south of Vermilion Bay along the central Louisiana coast.

Ranel says it hasn’t been determined whether the structure is a production platform or a drilling rig or whether workers were aboard. Ranel says smoke was reported but it is unclear whether the rig is still burning.

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