11 Missing Following Oil Rig Explosion

Rescue teams in the Gulf of Mexico are searching for 11 missing workers a day after an enormous explosion rocked the Deepwater Horizon oil rig 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. The Coast Guard and family members are hoping the missing workers escaped onto one of the lifeboats, but if found dead, the accident could be one of the country’s deadliest offshore drilling accidents of the past 50 years. Of the 126 aboard, 17 were injured, four critically. The 400-by-250-foot rig was still burning 24 hours after the explosion. The precise cause of the explosion is still being investigated, but the vice president of the company that owns the rig said that the blast may have been a blowout, which occurs when oil or natural gas emerges through a well pipe and destroys equipment. The rig was contracted by BP and was doing exploratory drilling.