Explosion on oil rig critically injures 7 workers

Source: Mark Edwards of Columbia, MS
Source: Mark Edwards of Columbia, MS

VENICE, LA (WAFB) - A massive oil rig explosion off the coast of Louisiana left seven workers critically injured and at least 12 others missing Wednesday.

The U.S. Coast Guard cautioned at noon Wednesday that reports from Plaquemines Parish officials that the missing workers had been found could be inaccurate.   The Coast Guard said that, as of 12pm, their search for the missing workers was still underway.

The explosion happened about 50 miles southeast of Venice around 10 p.m. on a rig called Deepwater Horizon. The rig continued to burn Wednesday afternoon.

Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike O'Berry said 126 workers were aboard when the explosion happened.

He said the seven workers were airlifted to a Naval air station near New Orleans, then taken to hospitals. Two of the seven were taken to a burn unit in Mobile, Alabama.

A hotline has been set up by the company for family members. For information, call 832-587-8554.

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Copyright 2010 WAFB. All rights reserved. WWL-TV in New Orleans, LA contributed to this report.