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Oil rig still smoldering day after Coast Guard helicopter rescues 9 workers at Sabine Pass shipyard

All of the workers returned home to their families unharmed. One worker said he is grateful to God to be alive.

SABINE PASS, Texas — A jack up oil rig is still burning at a Sabine Pass shipyard Friday morning almost 24 hours after a fire broke out trapping nine workers who had to be rescued by helicopter.

The Nine workers are thankful to be alive after being plucked from the top of the rig by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter in Sabine Pass, Texas.

A minor amount of smoke could still be seen coming from the rig Friday morning according to Greg Benson of the Port Arthur Fire Department who also said the fire is still being monitored. 

"The fire is mostly out, it just has to burn itself out. Can’t imagine it will take more than another day or so," Benson said.

Crystal Holmes with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says at 12:35 p.m., a driver saw smoke and called 911.

"The quick response and the coast guard being able to come over and do the aerial rescues that made all the difference in the world," Holmes said. 

After a US coast guard helicopter rescued the workers paramedics then checked them out.

All nine of the workers got back home to their families unharmed. One worker said he is grateful to God to be alive.

A 12News crew at the scene on Thursday was  told the rig was in the process of being scrapped.

According to Port City Partners Marine Yard where the fire occurred, they lease the property to PH Steel. 12News has reached out to PH Steel for comment.

The workers who were rescued were only about 100 feet from the fire according to Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie who had briefed on the situation. 

Port Arthur police notified the fire department, Port Arthur Office of Emergency Management, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Aviation and Marine Unit, Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management and the General Land Office, all of whom responded to the fire.

The Jefferson County Marine Unit is housed in Sabine Pass and was one of the first to get there. They did an aerial assessment and relayed this to the coast guard.

A crew from Coast Guard Station Sabine, as well as the helicopter, was on the scene according to the Coast Guard.

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This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.

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