There is a vast flare on top of the stack, similar to:
this is still illuminated!
How much spark potential do you think a chopper landing has? When you consider garage forecourts ban the use of mobile phones!?!?! They would have needed around 10 - 11 choppers to completely remove everyone from the platform.
The gas pressure under the Elgin is massive, far greater than 90% of other platforms worldwide. It's the price we all pay for our energy. Stick old banana skins into a bin and waiting for them to heat up is not a very efficient way to heat or cook.
Incidently, BP are not totally to blame for the GOM disaster, as has been shown already Halliburton is one of the others who have to take a fair portion of the blame.