Deepwater Horizon: Missing Workers Search and Oil Spill, Update
Search For Missing Workers Scaled Back, Crews Work to Contain Oil Spill
The news in the explosion, fire and subsequent sinking of Transocean's Deepwater Horizon is unfortunately only getting worse. The search for the missing 11 workers is being scaled back.
- Background Deepwater Horizon
- Deepwater Horizon: 11 Workers Missing
- Deepwater Horizon Survivors, Fire
As hopes dimmed the missing employees would be found alive, Coast Guard Petty Officer Tim Atkeson said the search had been scaled back to a single helicopter and cutter that were still canvassing the Gulf waters.
An explosion on the semis-submersible deep water oil rig triggered a fire earlier in the week, injuring about 70 workers and 11 crew members unaccounted for. A coast guard search and rescue operation found no traces of the missing workers. Meanwhile, other crews fought the fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon. On Thursday the Transocean owned oil rig sank, spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana.
Oil officials initially feared up to 336,000 gallons of crude oil a day could be rising from the sea.
That would have presented an ecological catastrophe for coastal wetlands with rich habitats for birds and nurseries for fish and shrimps.
"If it [the oil] gets landward, it could be a disaster in the making," Cynthia Sarthou, executive director for the environmental group Gulf Restoration Network, told reporters.
But the coastguard downplayed initial fears of a major ecological disaster for the fragile coastlines of Mississippi and Louisiana, saying there was no indication that oil was continuing to pump from an open well on the ocean floor. "It doesn't seem to be spreading," a spokesperson said.