22 Apr 2010

Oil rig workers missing after blast

6:04 am on 22 April 2010

The United States Coast Guard is searching the Gulf of Mexico for at least 11 oil workers missing after an explosion and fire on a drilling platform.

The rig was still burning hours after the blast at 10pm on Tuesday (local time), 84km south-east of the Louisiana port of Venice.

The BBC reports there are conflicting reports on the number of missing, which range from 11 to 15.

There were 126 workers aboard the rig at the time. Seven have been airlifted to hospitals.

Deepwater Horizon was drilling for BP on Mississippi Canyon Block 252. It was working on a part of the block known as the Macondo prospect, in 1.5km of water.