Oil Rig Blast Off Coast Of La: Critical Injuries & Missing

April 21st, 2010 - 8:17 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Apr 21 (THAINDIAN NEWS) An explosion on an oil rig in the Gulf Coast has left at least 11 missing and seven critically injured, according to the U.S Coast Guard, CNN reports. At the time of the blast there were 126 people on board the rig. Crews fought throughout the night to rescue the ones who were accounted for from the burning rig which was still on fire. Search and rescue are still searching for the missing.

The incident happened at around 10 pm CT or 11 pm EST on Tuesday, on a rig by the name of Deep Horizon. The rig sits about 52 miles off the coast of Venice, Louisiana, according to a statement from Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike O’Berry. Helicopters were sent by the Coast Guard from New Orleans, La, and Mobile, Al to help rescue those who had been found on the rig, as well as to look for the missing. That search is still underway. The Coast Guard also sent four cutters to the rig.

Many people were hospitalized, at least seven of those were critically injured, and two or more were taken to a mobile trauma center. Details are still coming in. According to the rig owner, Transocean LTD most of the 126 crew members are safe. “A substantial majority of the 126-member crew is safe, but some crew members remain unaccounted for at this time,” the company said. Transocean LTD has 140 offshore drilling rigs, and describes itself as the “world’s largest offshore drilling contractor.” The also stated that there crisis teams are working with the Coast Guard and lease operator BP Exploration & Production Inc, to “care for all rig personnel and search for missing rig personnel.”

The names and hometowns of injured persons are being withheld until family members can be notified,” the company said.

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