Two oil workers were rescued by helicopter in waters off Huntington Beach on Wednesday after fire erupted on an offshore platform, spilling crude oil that spread for 900 yards.
The two night crew workers escaped without injury from the Unocal Corp. platform 1 1/2 miles off Bolsa Chica State Beach. Unocal spokesman Art Bentley said it was not known if the workers leaped from the 70-foot platform Eva or ran down the stairs to a loading dock and jumped into the water from there.
A Shell Oil Co. helicopter crew plucked the men from the water about 50 minutes later. Their names were not released.
The fire started at 6 a.m. when vapors in the drainage system ignited, Bentley said. The drainage system collects the runoff of oil and water from the production deck and holds it in a tank on a deck below, he said. Those flames ignited an oily film on the deck.