A Coast Guard helicopter and rescue plane resumed the search this morning for 11 workers missing after a massive explosion aboard an oil platform off the Louisiana coast. The rig continued to burn as supply vessels shot water into it try to control the flames enough to keep it from sinking. Rescue crews have covered the 1,940-square-mile search area by air 12 times and by boat five times, Petty Officer Casey Baker said this morning. The boats continued searching all night. Officials hoped the 11 missing workers might have been able to get to a covered lifeboat with enough supplies to survive for an extended period. Transocean Ltd. Spokesman Guy Cantwell said 111 workers who made it off the Deepwater Horizon safely after Tuesday night's blast were ashore today, and four others were still on a boat that operates an underwater robot. A robot will eventually be used to stop the flow of oil or gas to the rig, cutting off the fire. He said officials have not decided when that will happen. Seventeen others hurt in the blast had been brought to shore Wednesday with burns, broken legs and smoke inhalation. Four of those were critically injured. A slow trek across the water brought most of the uninjured survivors to Port Fourchon, where they were checked by doctors before being brought to a hotel in suburban New Orleans to reunite with their relatives early today. One worker said he was awakened by alarms and scrambled to get on a life boat. "I've been working offshore 25 years, and I've never seen anything like this before," said the man, who like others at the hotel declined to give his name.
Search goes on for 11 missing in oil rig blast
Published: Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
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