Search for missing oil workers suspended

Posted at 6:36 PM, Nov 17, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-17 20:36:47-05

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) — The Coast Guard on Saturday evening suspended the search for two crew members missing after an explosion ripped through an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Carlos Vega.

The Friday morning explosion triggered a fire and injured at least 11 people.

The incident occurred about 20 miles off the coast of Grand Isle, Louisiana, on a platform used for production, not drilling. Black Elk Energy, a Houston-based firm, was in charge of the platform.

About 28 gallons of fuel spilled into the region, according to Coast Guard Response Division Chief Ed Cubanski. A half-mile oil sheen reportedly stretched near the area.

The injured were airlifted and nine additional crew members were safely evacuated, according to the Coast Guard.

Four of the injured were being treated at Baton Rouge General Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Of the four, two are in critical condition, said Jeffrey Littleton, a burn surgeon and chief of surgery. The other two are in serious, but stable, condition.

All four suffered major burns and the next 48-72 hours are critical, said Littleton.

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