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Fire ingnites on natural gas platform in Gulf of Mexico

ROUGH CUT -- NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: A blowout on an unmanned platform of a shallow-water oil and gas well in the Gulf of Mexico forced the evacuation of 44 personnel Tuesday morning, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). Aerial video shot Tuesday by the environmental group "On Wings of Care," shows a trail of white smoke coming from the Hercules Offshore Inc. rig. Fire ignited shortly before 11pm EDT Tuesday evening, and continued burning through Wednesday morning, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The well, known as Hercules 265, is about 55 miles (88.5 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast in 154 feet (47 meters) of water. The BSEE says the U.S. Coast Guard has deployed safety management oversight crews to monitor the situation.

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