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Transocean Offshore Oil Rig, Deepwater Horizon, Explodes in the Gulf of Mexico

Over a hundred offshore oil rig workers are suffering from an enormous shock and tragedy today after an explosion at approximately 10:00 p.m. yesterday evening on the Deepwater Horizon, a deepwater offshore drilling platform about 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana in the Mississippi Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico.

The Deepwater Horizon is owned by Transocean but was under contract to British oil major BP PLC. It had been in the Macondo prospect since January, though on April 16 BP had applied for a permit to temporarily abandon the well at the explosion site.

At present, it appears that several people have been critically injured from the blast and several more crew members are missing after having escaped the rig on a workboat. The rig continued to burn for several hours.

The Deepwater Horizon was is a semisubmersible floating drilling unit, which was made famous when it drilled down just over 35,000 feet at another BP site, setting a world deepwater record.