Oil Rig Explosion in Gulf, 11 Still Missing

By: Kevin McGill / Associated Press Writer
By: Kevin McGill / Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS -- At least 11 people are still missing Thursday after an explosion and fire at an oil drilling platform off the coast of Louisiana. Seven others were reported injured in the explosion.

Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike O'Berry says the explosion happened around 10 p.m. Tuesday, 52 miles southeast of Venice, La., while 126 workers were aboard. The rig was still burning Wednesday morning.

O'Berry says there are conflicting reports coming in but at least 11 -- and possibly as many as 15 -- are missing. Seven workers were airlifted to a Naval air station near New Orleans, then taken to hospitals. He says two of the seven were taken to a burn unit.

O'Berry says 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.

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