Fire Shuts Down Alaskan Platform

A fire forced an evacuation and a shutdown at the Unocal King Salmon platform in Alaska's Cook Inlet, officials said Sunday. The fire, which broke out Saturday while crews were replacing a pump, burned for about 45 minutes before being doused by workers at the site, Unocal said. Twenty-six of the 52 workers at the site were evacuated, and four were sent to hospitals for various injuries. Three of the injured workers have been released, but one who sustained some burns was sent to a Seattle hospital as a precautionary measure, said Unocal spokeswoman Roxanne Sinz. The cause of the fire was unknown Sunday, and company officials had no prediction for when the platform would be back in operation, Sinz said. No oil was spilled in the incident, she said.

The platform, which serves the Trading Bay field, normally produces about 7,000 barrels a day, she said. It is located about 55 miles southwest of Anchorage. Unocal is the operator and majority owner of the Trading Bay unit. Forest Oil owns about 47 percent of the unit.