At least four people were killed and five injured in an explosion which rocked an off-shore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday (Friday).
AV Smoke and flames on Rig
LV & CU Rig Capt. Holdgraf speaking
LV & CU Survivors relaxing outside building (3 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 3: HOLDGRAF: "Fire was all around and then I run my boat in there and, just as I got to them all three of them went under. I couldn't save them so I turned my boat around and went back to the rig and it was already engulfed in fire. The men were screaming and hollering and they wouldn't jump. I tried to coax them to jump off - for a long time they wouldn't do it, and I took my boat to within ten or twelve feet of this burning rig, I threw ropes to them and life jackets, every life jackets, every life jacket I had on the boat and all my life-rings. Finally I got one man to jump off, and when he jumped it seemed to give the other men the courage to jump"
Initials LD/N-TELE/PMW/MH LD/N-TELE/PMW/BJ
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: At least four people were killed and five injured in an explosion which rocked an off-shore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday (Friday). As flaming oil shot 2,000 feet (610 metres) into the air, fishing and Coast Guard boats sped to the area to help the 23 men working on the rig - one of the rescuers was captain Ed Holdgraf, who spoke to reporters later in Galveston, Texas.
Reports indicate that the trouble started when an oil storage tank exploded on the top of the rig - pouring boiling oil down onto the rig and a crew boat below. The boat caught fire immediately - most of the victims were in it - and the flames then spread up along the rig. Captain Holdgraf, who saved most of the seventeen men plucked from the water, described the incident:
The survivors were taken to Galveston Hospital, Texas, where they were reported to be steadily improving.