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Apr 21, 2010 7:09 PM by Sharlee Jacobs

Evacuated Workers Missing After Oil Rig Explosion

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Coast Guard says at least 11 people are missing and seven hurt after an explosion and fire at an oildrilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana.

The rig -- which is still burning -- is owned by Transocean Ltd. of Houston. Spokesman Greg Panegos says the rig was drilling but was not in production. The rig is under contract to BP.

Chief Petty Officer Mike O'Berry says most of the 126 people on the rig are believed to have safely escaped after last night's explosion. The site is about 52 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana's tip.

O'Berry says the rig is listing at about 10 degrees. 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 center in Mobile, Ala. O'Berry says the Gulf of Mexico is being searched for lifeboats.

Family members may call for information by dialing (832)587-8554.

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