MANILA, Philippines – At least 13 Filipinos were reported injured while two others were missing following an explosion and fire that hit an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana, the Philippine Embassy in Washington said.
In a statement released Sunday, the Philippine Embassy said it received initial unofficial reports that four of the injured Filipinos are in critical condition.
The statement added that the United States Coast Guard are already conducting search operations for the two missing Filipinos.
"The Philippine Overseas Labor Office here at the Embassy has been informed that the medical needs of the workers are being taken care of. The Philippine Consulate General in Chicago has also been informed about the incident and is now monitoring developments there," Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said in a statement.
According to the initial information which reached the Embassy, the injured Filipinos are employees of Grand Isle Shipyard Inc. and are all currently being treated in hospitals in Louisiana.
Cuisia said the names of the Filipinos have not been released.
It was initially reported that the explosion happened while the workers were using a cutting torch atop the oil production platform owned by Black Elk Energy, a Houston-based independent oil and gas company.