By Christopher Nelson and Henry Austin
A Gulf of Mexico drilling rig has partially collapsed off the coast of Louisiana after catching fire because of a ruptured natural gas well, U.S. regulators said on Wednesday.
Firefighters are continuing to tackle the fire, which broke out after a blowout on the Hercules 265 natural gas platform at around 10:45 p.m. local time Monday.
Eileen Angelico, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, said no one was on board when the fire started. It is not known what sparked it.
The 44-person crew, who were evacuated on two lifeboats after the gas began spewing to surface, will be interviewed about how they lost control of the well. None of the crew were injured.
The beams supporting the derrick and portable drilling rig floor have folded and have collapsed over the rig structure, operated by Hercules Offshore.
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