Response Continues to Oil Rig Fire

NEW ORLEANS, La. — The Coast Guard continues the search for 11 missing crewmembers from the mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) Deepwater Horizon.

Watchstanders at the U.S. Coast Guard District Eight command center here received a report at approximately 10 p.m. Tuesday of an explosion and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon, approximately 42 miles Southeast of Venice, La. Reports indicate that there were 126 people on board the MODU at the time of the explosion.

Of the 126 people, 115 crewmembers have been accounted for. Of those accounted for:

  • Seventeen crewmembers were medevaced from the scene
  • Ninety-four crewmembers are enroute to Port Fourchon aboard the Damien Baxton, an offshore supply vessel. There are no major injuries reported for these members and the vessel is expected to moor at 1 a.m. Thursday morning.
  • Four crewmembers were transferred to a separate vessel

Coast Guard is actively searching for all 11 crewmembers and will continue throughout the night with the following assets:

  • Coast Guard cutters Cobia, an 87′ cutter homeported in Mobile, Ala.
  • Coast Guard cutter Zephyr, a 179′ cutter homeported in Pascagoula, Miss.

Family members can contact the following number for additional information: (832) 587-8554.

The fire is still burning and the cause of the explosion is under investigation. Initial indications show that this was not a terrorist incident. The investigation is a cooperative effort between Mineral Management Service and the U.S. Coast Guard.

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