Coast Guard heads to fire at offshore gas platform

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A fire Thursday at an offshore liquefied natural gas platform in Alaska's Cook Inlet forced four people to evacuate, but the environmental risk was considered minimal, the Coast Guard said.

The fire appeared to be out by 11 a.m., but vessels at the scene were still battling smoke, according to the Coast Guard, which was responding to the blaze. The platform is 8 miles offshore.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, and Petty Officer Joshua Yates said no fuel spilled into the inlet's waters.

Yates said 11,000 gallons of diesel fuel were on board, along with 8,000 gallons of drill mud and 1,000 gallons of hydraulic oil.

Mike McNeil, civilian command duty officer in Anchorage, said the Coast Guard overheard radio communications by vessels reporting smoke in an area at 8:30 a.m.

He said it was unknown what caused the fire at the Baker platform operated by Hilcorp Alaska LLC, which reported the fire.

Company representatives didn't immediately return a call seeking comment from The Associated Press.

The Coast Guard said four vessels were fighting the fire and the agency was dispatching a cutter, helicopter and another aircraft.