Eleven Workers Sought After Oil Rig Explosion
April 21, 2010
Helicopters, ships and an airplane searched waters off Louisiana''s coast for at least 11 workers missing after an explosion and fire that left an offshore drilling platform tilting in the Gulf of Mexico, reports the Associated Press. Most of the 126 people were believed to have escaped safely after the explosion on the rig Deepwater Horizon. The rig was about 52 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana''s tip. A spokesman for the Coast Guard said many workers who escaped the rig were being brought to land on a workboat while authorities searched the Gulf of Mexico for any signs of lifeboats. The rig was drilling but was not in production, according to Greg Panagos, spokesman for its owner, Transocean Ltd., in Houston. The rig was under contract to BP PLC. BP spokesman Darren Beaubo said all BP personnel were safe but he didn''t know how many BP workers had been on the rig. According to Transocean''s website, the Deepwater Horizon is 396 feet long and 256 feet wide. Hyundai Heavy Industries Shipyard in South Korea built the rig in 2001. The site is known as the Macondo prospect, in 5,000 feet of water. The rig is designed to operate in water depths up to 8,000 feet and has a maximum drill depth of about 5.5 miles. It can accommodate a crew of up to 130.