Seven Critically Hurt in Offshore Rig Fire

Eleven workers initially reported found remain missing, the Coast Guard said this afternoon. An explosion and fire occurred on the rig at 10 p.m. Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico.

Contrary to an earlier report Wednesday, 11 workers remain missing following an explosion and fire reported at 10 p.m. Tuesday on the semisubmersible Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico about 52 miles southeast of Venice, La. Seven workers were critically injured among an estimated 126 people who were on the rig at the time of the explosion, the Coast Guard and The New Orleans Times-Picayune have reported. Several Coast Guard helicopters and cutters were on scene this afternoon.

Transocean Ltd. of Houston, the world's largest offshore drilling contractor, owns the Deepwater Horizon. The company today said its Emergency and Family Response Teams are working with the Coast Guard and with lease operator BP Exploration & Production, Inc. to care for all rig personnel and search for missing rig personnel.

Deepwater Horizon entered service in 2001 and is currently operating in 10,000 feet of water and drilling to a depth of 30,000 feet, according to Transocean's April 13, 2010, fleet status report, which covers its 140-unit offshore drilling fleet.

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