Thursday, April 22, 2010

Oil rig explosion off Louisiana coast

Oil rig explosion
Eleven missing after oil rig explosion, More than 24 hours after an oil rig exploded and caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard was prepared to search through the night Wednesday for 11 missing workers as firefighters battled a raging blaze fueled by crude oil gushing from the rig about 50 miles southeast of Venice.

Seventeen workers, including three with critical injuries, were taken by helicopters to hospitals across the region after the Tuesday night explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig, which had 126 crewmembers onboard, the Coast Guard said.

Ninety-eight rescued workers were on vessels expected to reach Port Fourchon on Wednesday night to be reunited with anxious family members gathering there.

The United States Coast Guard said out of 126 people on the rig, 114 have been accounted for, and 11 are still missing. The rig is more than 50 miles southeast of Venice, on Louisiana's tip.

Lt. Scot Albrecht said it's a major operation.

"Thirty different air crews were involved in the search and rescue mission. Pretty massive effort for this base. Probably couple hundred just here," said Lt. Albrecht.

Breland's thoughts are with those who are still missing.

"Remind everyone to remember them in their prayers. My prayers will be with all of them to return," cried Breland.

Breland is traveling Wednesday night with her daughter-in-law Haley to meet Craig in Louisiana.

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