Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Fire: 11 Workers Still Unaccounted For
Oil Rig Explosion In Mexican Gulf Leaves Eleven People Missing
Eleven workers are still missing after the explosion at Deepwater Horizon oil rig 41 miles off the coast of Louisiana in Mexican Gulf late Tuesday. The oil rig owned by Transocean Ltd. was rocked by a late night explosion that set off a fire on the oil rig. It is reported 126 people were working on the oil rig. Most have been evacuated, but 11 are still unaccounted for. In the rig fire, 15 people are reported to have been injured.
BP, which operates the license on which Transocean's rig was drilling an exploration well, said it was working closely with Transocean and the U.S. Coast Guard. The search and rescue operation will continue through the night if necessary, but the vice president of BP said the workers would not have had a lot of time to get off the rig before it was engulfed in flames. Rescuers say they hope the missing workers managed to get into a life raft.
Helicopters and coast guard boats were dispatched to look for the missing workers in what is still "an ongoing rescue." As of the latest update from U.S. Coast Guard this afternoon, the officials still can't confirm the status of the missing workers.
"We have no idea where the 11 unaccounted-for personnel are."
In the hours after the explosion, several news sources reported that the missing workers were found, but these reports have not been confirmed. A statement released by Transocean today says, "a substantial majority of the 126 member crew is safe but some crew members remain unaccounted for at this time."
The fuel that was spilled as the result of the incident was still burning as of 3 p.m. local time, and there is still no estimate of when the fire will be out. Environmental damage will be assessed after the fire is extinguished. The cause of the incident remains unknown.
The Deepwater Horizon is a semi-submersible drilling unit built in 2001 capable of operating in harsh environments and water depths up to 8,000 ft. The rig can accommodate 130 people and measures 396 feet in length. Transocean is the world's largest offshore drilling contractor with a fleet of 140 mobile offshore drilling units.