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41 rescued after oil rig collapses

An escape vessel is trapped under part of an oil rig after Thursday's collapse.
An escape vessel is trapped under part of an oil rig after Thursday's collapse.

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(CNN) -- Forty-one workers were rescued from the Gulf of Mexico Thursday after the offshore drilling rig they were working on collapsed, Coast Guard officials said.

Eight people were injured when the rig, owned by Parker USA Drilling, collapsed around 3:20 p.m. CDT (4:20 p.m. EDT) off the coast near the Louisiana and Mississippi border in about 40 feet of water, said a Coast Guard statement.

Three commercial vessels in the area pulled the workers from the water.

The 85-foot rig had nearly 10,500 gallons of diesel fuel on it, some of which has now spilled into the Gulf.

"A sheen approximately 200 yards wide and four miles long is now visible at the site of the accident and is drifting away from land in a southwesterly direction," the statement said.

The injured were taken to the Gulfport Regional Airport by Coast Guard helicopters and then transported to Gulfport Memorial Hospital, the statement said. The extent of their injuries is unknown.

The Coast Guard will be investigating the accident.


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