Oil Rig Explosion Leaves US Coast Guard Searching for 12 Workers

A team of US Coast Guard helicopters, ships, and cutters are desparately searching for 12 workers who are still unaccounted for after an oil rig explosion occurred at an oil drilling platform located off of Louisiana’s coast in the Gulf of Mexico around 10:00 PM last night.

The oil rig, named Deepwater Horizon, is located 50 miles southeast of Venice. The fire from the explosion continues to burn and Coast Guard officials do not have an estimate as to when the fire will be completely extinguished.

US Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike O’Berry said that most of the 126 crew members working at the time of the explosion are believed to have escaped safely.

Officials hope the 12 missing workers were able to escape to life rafts.

At least seven people have been reported critically injured. Two of these workers were lifted via air ambulance to West Jefferson hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana and two others were flown to Mobile Trauma center in Mobile, Alabama.

The nature of the injuries is unknown at this time, but the trauma center in Alabama is “the only facility in the region which provides burn care from injury to recovery” and “serves inpatients and outpatients with severe, life-threatening burn injuries”.

Transocean Ltd., the company who owns the rig, said that “a substantial majority of the 126-member crew is safe, but some crew members remain unaccounted for.” A spokesperson for the company also said that the names of injured persons are being withheld until family members can be notified.

Transocean Ltd. has 140 offshore drilling units and describes itself as “the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor.”

Coast Guard Lt. Sue Kerver stated that the Mineral Management Service will work with the Coast Guard to investigate possible causes of accident.

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The effects of a burn injury can be devistating and even deadly.

Those injured as a result of the explosion will be entitled to workers compensation benefits. Workers comp provides benefits, including medical treatment and lost wages if you are injured, or even killed, as a result of a work-related injury.

Typically a filing a workers comp claim is the only remedy that you have against your emloyer for a work related injury. Depending upon the circumstances, there are exceptions to that rule.

Under some circumstances, a third party negligence claim may be filed to recover additional compensation due to an injured worker and his or her family. A workers compensation attorney will be able to advise you and your family on your rights and how to best proceed in the event of a work related injury.

We are hopeful for a speedy and safe return for the 12 missing workers.

If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, contact the injured worker attorney at the Strom Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case. We are centrally located in Columbia, South Carolina and provide agressive and effective representation to injured workers and their families. Our lawyers are licensed in: South Carolina, New York, and Georgia.