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Published: April 21, 2010 at 7:54 AM
ArticlePhotosListenComments.Share3VENICE, La., April 21
(UPI) -- Three people were critically injured and more than a dozen others are missing following an explosion and fire aboard an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
The blast occurred late Tuesday on the Deepwater Horizon, a mobile offshore drilling unit some 50 miles southwest of Venice, La., WWL-TV, New Orleans, reports.
Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters are searching for the missing workers.
President Billy Nungesser of Palquemines Parish said the rig is currently in danger of tipping over.
"The rig is leaning badly and the Coast Guard commander down here feels like it may go over sometime today," Nungesser said. "It is still on fire."
Senior Chief Petty Officer Mile O'Berry of the Coast Guard said at one point the fire on the rig was so intense it hampered rescue efforts.
Environmental impact crews are waiting until the fire is out to assess damage.
WWL-TV said the rig belongs to Transocean, which is operating it for BP.
Bad Girls Make Good Company
That sucks. So many great strides have been made in safety since I worked those things back in the early eighties. It's hard to believe it can still happen.
Prayers for all involved.
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