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47 rescued from Gulf rig after natural gas blowout

By Kevin Mcgill

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, July 23 2013 3:13 p.m. MDT

NEW ORLEANS — Authorities have restricted air and nautical traffic around the site of a natural gas well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

Forty-seven workers on a drilling rig were evacuated after the well, located 55 miles off the Louisiana coast, blew wild Tuesday morning. No injuries were reported and there was no fire as of Tuesday afternoon. It remained unclear how or when the well would be shut down.

The Coast Guard said it was keeping nautical traffic out of an area within 500 meters of the site. The Federal Aviation Administration restricted aircraft up to 2,000 feet above the area.

A federal agency said Tuesday's blowout occurred on a rig drilling what is known as a "sidetrack well" near an unmanned platform that was not currently producing natural gas.

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