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100 missing after offshore fire

From CNN's Satinder Bindra and Prithvi Banerjii

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS

India
Coast Guard

NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- Rescue ships are navigating rough waters off India's west coast late Wednesday in an effort to locate about 100 people missing after a major fire tore through an offshore oil platform.

Oil Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said there are three confirmed fatalities.

The platform is about 160 kilometers (100 miles) off the coast of Mumbai, or Bombay, which has been soaked with a record rainfall -- 37 inches in one day. (See India-Heavy Rain).

The weather is also causing rough seas, which are hampering the rescue effort.

The fire is now under control, Aiyar said.

At 9 p.m. (11:30 a.m. ET), India's Coast Guard deployed one ship and an aircraft, and the Navy sent six ships toward the oil platform, where approximately 400 people were working when the fire broke out. Of those, 300 have been rescued, Aiyar said.

When the fire was reported about 6 p.m. (8:30 a.m. ET), the Navy was conducting a drill in the area and immediately responded, saving many lives.

The oil platform, owned by Bombay High, is India's largest oil drilling facility, producing 100,000 barrels of oil each day. Half of India's oil production comes from this offshore rig.

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