Deepwater Horizon Explosion – Breaking News

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Read more in the gCaptain forum thread Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon is on fire

BREAKING NEWS:

We’ll update as more information comes in, but what we know so far is that an explosion has occurred on Transocean’s oil rig, Deepwater Horizon, 52 miles Southeast of Venice, LA forcing all personnel to abandon ship.  The USCG responded to a call at approximately 10 p.m. Tuesday of an explosion and fire aboard the MODU Deepwater Horizon.

This image above, posted to the gCaptain forum, shows Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon on fire and was taken from about 10 miles away (click for higher resolution).  The AP has also confirmed the fire and reported 126 workers on board:

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Authorities were searching for missing workers early Wednesday who evacuated after an explosion at an oil drilling platform off the coast of Louisiana.

The explosion happened around 10 p.m. Tuesday, 52 miles southeast of Venice, La., while 126 workers were aboard the platform, Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike O’Berry said.

No deaths were reported, but O’Berry said there were some injuries. He did not know how many.

Read USCG’s UPDATE 1: Coast Guard responding to oil drilling platform fire

Transocean Press Release: Transocean Ltd. Reports Fire on Semisubmersible Drilling Rig Deepwater Horizon

Update 1100 PST: It is being reported that the 11 missing persons have all been accounted for at this time.

These reports have never been confirmed by the USCG and now appear to be false.

We just got word that a good friend of gCaptain who works on that rig has been contact with his family and is OK.  We’ll update as soon as we have confirmation on the rest of the crew.

Update 1300 PST: The following is an update just released by the USCG. Read more HERE

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.

Updated reports indicate that there were 126 people on board the MODU at the time of the explosion.

One-hundred-fifteen crewmembers have been accounted for.  Of those accounted for:

  • Seventeen crewmembers were medevaced from the scene
  • Ninety-four crewmembers are being transferred to shore at Port Fourchon aboard the Damien Baxton, an offshore supply vessel.  There are no major injuries reported for these members.
  • Four crewmembers have been transferred to another vessel

Read gCaptain forum thread Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon is on fire for members posting the latest information, including photos.

Official Release from BP (4/21/2010): BP Offers Full Support to Transocean

A big THANK YOU to the gCaptain community for submitting information.  Another a big thanks to the workboat crews and USCG on the scene. Our thoughts are prayers are with everyone affected by this.

USCG UPDATE 3: USCG has just released this official update. Read More HERE

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

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.

Video is available at the following link: http://cgvi.uscg.mil/media/main.php?g2_itemId=46

Further updates will be available on the following Web site: www.jointinformation.com

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

USCG UPDATE 4: Coast Guard continues searching for 11 missing persons.  Here is what happend overnight:

Overnight, the Coast Guard continued active search and rescue operations with two cutters that remained on scene:

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

Two aircraft are scheduled to be on scene at first light to continue the search efforts and two Coast Guard cutters are expected to be on scene later in the morning to relieve the Zephyr and Cobia.  These assets include:

  • One MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter and crew from Air Station New Orleans, La.
  • One HC-144 Ocean Sentry rescue plane and crew from Aviation Training Center, Mobile, Ala.
  • Coast Guard cutters Pelican, an 87′ patrol boat homeported in Abbeville, La.
  • Coast Guard cutter Coho, an 87′ patrol boat homeported in Panama City, Fla.

Seventeen total sorties have been completed by air and surface assets and approximately 1940 square miles have been searched.

This website has been set up for updates.

UPDATE:  Officials confirm that the Deepwater Horizon has sunk:

(CNN) — An oil rig that has been burning in the Gulf of Mexico for more than a day has sunk, the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday.

Lt. Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesau of the Coast Guard announced this latest development as the search continued for 11 workers who have been missing since an explosion on the rig Tuesday night off the Louisiana coast.

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

Here’s the latest update from Transocean (4/22/2010): Transocean Ltd. Provides Update on Semisubmersible Drilling Rig Deepwater Horizon

UPDATE 5 from USCG: Search and rescue continues; joint environmental response efforts in place

The following photos have been released by the USCG:

The photo below was submitted to the gCaptain forum via member, Anchorman, and taken from about 10 miles away.

More photos of Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon explosion that have been submitted to gCaptain.

Related Incidents:
After Another Close Call, Transocean Changed Rules

Read more in the gCaptain Forum thread Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon is on fire