Gulf Coast Oil Rig Bursts Into Flames; 2 Workers Missing, 4 Injured

Matt Gutman has the latest on the oil rig explosion off Louisiana.
3:00 | 11/16/12

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Transcript for Gulf Coast Oil Rig Bursts Into Flames; 2 Workers Missing, 4 Injured
And now we turn to a big story here in the united states tonight. An oil rig in the gulf of mexico bursts into flames. This picture of the fire reminding everyone of the massive bp oil leak two and a half years ago. How could something like this happen again? And happen 85 miles from the bp disaster. injured. Abc's matt gutman has the full story. Reporter: The pair of explosions shot a pillar of black smoke over 1,000 feet into the air. The fireball seen over 20 miles away. You can make out a giant fireball and then another flash. Reporter: And aboard the black elk gas and oil platform, an inferno engulfed some of the 22 workers doing routine maintenance. Charring a corner od the platform, a massive search is on for two men who jumped into the water and are listed as missing. 11 others were medivaced, four of them with severe burns. These two patients are in critical condition with major burns. Reporter: According to black elk, a workman used the wrong kind of blow torch to cut the section of pipeline indicated by these arrows, setting off the oil inside. But the oil was not actively producing oil or gas, meaning there's little threat of a spill, according to the coast guard. The platform was confirmed shut in, before they started work, so, a nonproduction platform at the time. Reporter: And tonight, oil sheen covers less than a half a square mile of the gulf. Just 28 gallons. Not enough to fill a large suv's gas tank. Bp's deepwater horizon spilled enough daily to fill 82,000 SUVs. And this accident took place in just 50 feet of water. Over 80 miles from the deepwater horizon drilling in water a mile deep. Just yesterday, bp agreed to pay $4.5 billion in damages. To employees charged in the deaths of 11 men. Since the disaster, safety rules have tightened with more visits to inspect gs. But many of the new safety rules pertain to drilling rigs. This is one of the m dangerous operations in the world. Since the new safety regulations were put in, five people were killed, diane. Matt gutman on the story tonight. Thank you, matt.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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