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Explosion, Fire at Offshore Oil Rig

AN EXPLOSION ROCKED AN OIL-DRILL RIG located 50 miles off the Louisiana coast late Tuesday night and left the platform afire.

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Local news agencies are reporting that 15 people are missing and 8 are injured, 3 of them crtically.  The fire is massive and is being fought by five fireboats, but it is in danger of sinking.

The Transocean Ltd. has just issued a press release that says, in part:

–Transocean Ltd.  today reported a fire onboard its semisubmersible drilling rig Deepwater Horizon. The incident occurred April 20, 2010 at approximately 10:00 p.m. central time in the United States Gulf of Mexico. The rig was located approximately 41 miles offshore Louisiana on Mississippi Canyon block 252.Transocean’s Emergency and Family Response Teams are working with the U.S. Coast Guard and lease operator BP Exploration & Production, Inc. to care for all rig personnel and search for missing rig personnel. A substantial majority of the 126 member crew is safe but some crew members remain unaccounted for at this time. Injured personnel are receiving medical treatment as necessary. The names and hometowns of injured persons are being withheld until family members can be notified.

WVUE-TV is reporting:

The platform is aproximately 52 miles southeast of Venice.  Smoke and fire could still be seen billowing into the air Wednesday morning.  Coast Guard officials say the fire has spread to the water near the rig.  The rig is also reported to be listing about 10 degrees.

Authorities received the call about the explosion on the MODU Deepwater Horizon, owned by Transocean Ltd., about 10 p.m. Tuesday.

WVUE also filed this later video report:

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The Deepwater Horizon before Tuesday

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