Burning oil rig sinks

The oil rig that went up in flames
after a massive explosion has sunk, a representative for Transocean Ltd. said.

Transocean spokesman Guy Cantwell
said the company has seen photos from the scene that show the rig, which caught
fire late Tuesday night, is “not there.” He said he didn’t have other
details and couldn’t confirm reports that the fire has gone out.

There
were 126 people on board the Deepwater Horizon, of the 115 accounted-for
workers, 17 injured were evacuated by helicopter from the rig. Ninety-four
others were taken to shore with no major injuries, and four more were
transferred to another vessel, according to the Coast Guard.

Rescuers were still searching for
the 11 missing workers, according to officials.

It was not known whether the
missing workers were able to make it to one of the rig’s lifeboats — fully
enclosed, fire-resistant vessels designed to evacuate people quickly.

Family members of one missing
worker, Shane Roshto of Amite, Mississippi, filed a lawsuit in New Orleans on
Thursday accusing the rig’s owner of negligence.
The suit said he was thrown overboard by the explosion and is feared dead,
though it did not indicate how family members knew that was what happened to
him.
The suit names Transocean Ltd., which owns the rig, and oil giant BP, which
contracted it. A Transocean spokesman did not immediately respond to a request
for comment and BP wouldn’t discuss the suit.
Experts say the fire was likely caused by a blow-out, an uncontrolled release
of fluids from the reservoir into the riser—the pipe that connects the well to
the oil rig—and onto the platform itself, where it ignited.

Any investigation into the disaster
will focus on why the Horizon’s blow-out preventer, a large valve at the top of
a well that can be closed remotely using hydraulics, failed to activate.

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