Oil Rig Explosion Off the Coast of Louisiana

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An explosion and fire at an oil drilling platform last night off the coast of Louisiana has left at least 11 and as many as 15 people missing. The rig was about 52 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana.

The Associated Press reports that seven workers were airlifted to a Naval air station near New Orleans and then taken to hospitals. Two of the seven were taken to a burn unit.

Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike O'Berry said there were 126 people on board who were believed to have escaped safely after the explosion. The rig is still burning this morning. The Coast Guard and the Minerals Management Service are investigating the cause of the accident.

"It's still too early to tell the cause," Greg Panagos, spokesman for the rig's owner, Transocean Ltd. "Our focus right now is on taking care of the people."

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