At least 11 people are missing and seven injured after an explosion
and fire at an oil drilling platform off the coast of Louisiana.
explosion happened last night at the rig, which is 52 miles southeast
of Venice, Louisiana, while 126 workers were aboard, said coast guard
senior chief petty officer Mike O'Berry. The rig was still burning this
O'Berry said there were conflicting reports coming from
the area but that at least 11 and possibly as many as 15 were missing.
Seven workers were airlifted to a naval air station near New Orleans,
then taken to hospitals. He said two of the seven were taken to a burns
O'Berry said many workers who escaped the rig were being
brought to land on a workboat while authorities searched the Gulf of
Mexico for any signs of lifeboats.
The rig was drilling but was
not in production, according to Greg Panegos, spokesman for its owner,
Transocean Ltd, in Houston. The rig was under contract to BP.