The U.S. Coast Guard says it is searching for as many as 12 people who are missing following an explosion at an oil rig off the southern U.S. coast.
The Coast Guard says the explosion late Tuesday also injured seven people at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, located in the Gulf of Mexico about 84 kilometers from the state of Louisiana.
Officials say they have sent helicopters, a rescue plane and several boats to the scene. The injured were evacuated to area hospitals. The Coast Guard continued battling a fire on the rig early Wednesday.
It says 126 people were on the rig at the time of the incident. A Coast Guard statement says the rig has been evacuated.
The cause of the explosion is not yet known.
The oil rig is owned by Transocean, an offshore drilling contractor. Transocean issued a statement saying it is working with the Coast Guard to search for its missing crew members.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.