Rescue crew surrounds the stricken oil platform.
Divers have found a body near an oil platform that caught
fire in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.
The body was found by divers contracted by Black Elk Energy,
which owns the platform off the coast of Louisiana, on
Saturday evening while they were inspecting the structure,
said Coast Guard spokesman Carlos Vega.
Vega said he could not confirm whether the body was one of
two workers who went missing after the platform fire on
He referred additional questions to Black Elk officials, who
have not returned calls seeking comment.
The Coast Guard suspended its search for the missing workers
early Saturday evening after three helicopter crews, a Coast
Guard cutter and a plane spent the day scanning a 3625 square
km area around the platform.
The blaze was touched off on Friday when workers were welding
a pipe on a deck of the platform in shallow waters.
Twenty-two people were on board the rig when the fire broke
out and unleashed a black plume of smoke. Eleven workers were
evacuated and nine others were taken by helicopter to
The platform sits in 17m of water 27km south of Grand Isle,
Louisiana, and production had been shut down since
mid-August, Black Elk said.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which
enforces offshore drilling regulations, is investigating.
The incident occurred a day after oil giant BP agreed to pay
a record $4.5 billion in penalties for the 2010 Gulf oil
spill that killed 11 workers and spewed 4.9 million barrels