Oil Rig Disaster Threatens Gulf of Mexico, 11 Missing

World | April 23, 2010, Friday // 10:06|  views

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US President Barack Obama has said that dealing with Tuesday's oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is a "number one priority".

The government was providing "all assistance needed" in the rescue effort off Louisiana, and in mitigating any environmental impact, he said.

The Deepwater Horizon sank after a blast, leaving 11 workers missing, the BBC reported.

There are fears of a major spill, with the coastguards saying the rig may be leaking 8 000 barrels of oil per day.

The rig was carrying out exploratory drilling 84km south-east of the Louisiana port of Venice when the blast occurred. Seventeen workers were injured and more than 100 were evacuated.

The rig had been burning for 36 hours when it sank on Thursday despite efforts to control the flames. A day earlier it had been reportedly tilting about 70 degrees and threatening to topple over.

There has been no sign of the 11 missing workers, despite rescue efforts by patrol boats and an aerial search.

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Tags: oil rig, Gulf of Mexico, oil, Barack Obama


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