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Explosion on Brazil Oil Rig Kills Five Workers

An oil rig explosion on Wednesday 120 miles off the coast of Brazil killed five workers and at least ten more were injured. According to members of the oil workers' union, the explosion was caused by a gas leak. Many of the injured workers suffered severe burns, while others simply had concussions. Ten ambulances rushed to the scene to transport victims to a nearby hospital. Flights to a nearby airport were suspended to allow helicopters air space to operate in unhindered.

The oil rig is owned by BW Offshore, a Norwegian firm. It was leased to Petrobras, a state-run oil company that is the largest company in Brazil.

According to a Brazilian official, the rig has been stabilized and no oil leaked into the ocean.

The explosion is that latest in a string of safety problems for Petrobas over the last year. In January, three workers were killed during an explosion at a Petrobas refinery. The company was also forced to shut down an oil rig in December 2013 after a fire injured two workers.

Read more about the history of offshore rig explosions here.

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