Hercules 265 natural gas rig Gulf of Mexico explosion: Regulators say gas has stopped flowing

Happened 60 miles off Grand Isle, Louisiana

  Reported By JANET McCONNAUGHEY and KEVIN McGILL, Associated Press

   NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Officials say the fire is out at a natural gas well in the Gulf of Mexico that blew wild earlier in the week.

   Natural gas stopped flowing from the well earlier Thursday, and the remaining fire had been fueled by residual gas. Authorities believe the flowing gas became blocked by sand and sediment in the well.

   The Coast Guard and a spokesman for one of the companies involved confirmed that the fire was out at midday.

   Air and water travel restrictions remain in effect in the area, and officials are working to determine the next steps in securing the well.