April 22nd, 2010
07:24 PM ET

Coast Guard: Oil rig that exploded has sunk

[Updated at 7:23 p.m.] Read the full CNN.com story

[Updated at 1:43 p.m.] An oil rig that has been burning in the Gulf of Mexico has sunk, said Lt. Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesau of the U.S. Coast Guard.

[Posted at 10:50 a.m.] The U.S. Coast Guard resumed its aerial search Thursday morning for 11 people missing after a "catastrophic" explosion aboard an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, an agency spokeswoman said.

The rig was still ablaze Thursday morning as a plane and helicopter rejoined rescuers' search for survivors of Tuesday night's explosion, Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashley Butler said.

Butler said oil was leaking from the rig at the rate of about 8,000 barrels of crude per day. The Coast Guard is also preparing for possible leaks of up to 700,000 gallons of diesel fuel, she said, but can do little to protect the environment until the fire is out.

An investigation was underway to determine what caused the blast aboard the rig Deepwater Horizon, which occurred about 10 p.m. (11 p.m. ET) Tuesday.

The mobile rig was about 52 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana when the explosion occurred, said Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike O'Berry.

"It obviously was a catastrophic event," O'Berry said.

There were no indications it was a terrorist incident, the Coast Guard said.

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soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. stan

    Wow I hope all the workers are ok and safely found. Watch the fuel and gas prices go up

    April 22, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ben

    The rig was not in production yet so I see no reason for the incident to affect the price of oil.

    April 22, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. susan ahern

    Hey, Sarah Palin, how's that "Drill baby Drill" workin'?

    April 22, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. susan ahern

    Hey, Bob McDonnell, think of all the revenue drilling off the Va Coast is gonna bring in?

    Then deduct how much it's gonna cost if we have an oil-rig accident like this...and how much lost revenue for tourism, your baby. I'm sure all those beach-front property owners are gonna love DRILL BABY DRILL!

    April 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Doug Thomas

    What a wonderful Earth Day treat!

    April 22, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Adam

    This is sad to hear. I hope the best for all the men missing & their famlies. Everyone one out there trying to make a living for them selves & their famlies. Focus on the search of the men & cont to try to protect the enviorment.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. deepwater805

    The sad truth now is that these 11 missing men were probably on the rig floor (directly above the hole) when the gas kick hit the surface. I can tell you from experience that when a kick gas makes it to the surface, thus getting past the BOP (Blow Out Preventer) it can hit the rig floor with the strength of a jet engine, and release a tremendous amount of gas at very high pressure. And all it takes is one small spark to release hell on earth. With the sinking of the rig, so goes the sinking hopes of finding these men. My sincere and utter condolences to all their loved ones. God speed their families to a healed broken heart.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. stpail

    wow you greenies, im sure non of you drive your cars planes or trains huh. we should shut down all oil rigs because this one had an accident.

    April 22, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Russ

    A sad event. I hope the oil companies reconsider drilling such deep wells.

    April 23, 2010 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  10. maureen molina

    More bad news for the creatures of the sea. While the loss of the 11 missing is tragic, the life of those who have to live in the oceans is just as tragic. Whales dying with bellies full of plastic bottles and sweat pants. Tuna being caught with tumors on their bodies (don't know if they are cancerous or not), those are just the ones we hear about, wonder what secrets are being kept as not to alarm the consumers of the world. Makes me want to run out and buy lobster and crab, the garbage cans of the sea. The" riggers" know the risk they take when they take these jobs. The money is good, the consequences dire when accidents like this happen. Ocean life has no say so in what happens to their environment at the hands of their human counterparts. We are destroying this planet bit by bit and will not stop until it is to late.
    Sad but true!!!!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  11. map

    Drilling for oil or gas is dangerous, but then so is driving to the local market. The men and women knew the dangers and accepted the responsibility to make a living for their family above the dangerous work. I commend them and all the others out on the rigs that work hard every day so we can have the luxuary of driving to and from our jobs daily, instead of having to live on our jobsites like they do. At least they were working instead of living off the goverment. My thoughs and prayers are with them and thier families. Maybe some of you should do the same, that is pray for their families, not complain about rising gas prices.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. Sam

    Swiss owned oil company and British license (BP) but we pay, in lives and environment. Will their profits clean up the mess?

    April 23, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Alan

    Posted by Ben:
    The rig was not in production yet so I see no reason for the incident to affect the price of oil.
    Posted by: Ben

    I'm sure they'll find some way to link the incident to a reason.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kyle

    With all the water around they couldnt put our a fire?

    April 23, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. John

    Can someone who knows about these things explain how a gas kick occurred when they were cementing the casing, not while drilling?

    April 23, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
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