The Coast Guard has been conducting relentless search and rescue efforts since Tuesday, when the Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. However, with every hour that went by without any information on the missing workers, it became less and less likely that these workers would be found. But as of Thursday and as the exploded rig sunk to bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard has called off the search efforts after days of searching.
That is painful news for any family to bear, even along the Gulf Coast, where so many of us are used to loved ones working in the offshore industry. Seventeen of these workers were seriously injured when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on Tuesday morning. All the injured workers were airlifted to hospitals, including two who had to be shifted to burn centers. Eleven workers have been unaccounted for since the tragedy. More than 100 workers who survived the explosion are now safely back on shore.
The survivors who returned held on to hope that their 11 missing colleagues could possibly have escaped the explosion. It's likely that the 11 workers were unable to get to a lifeboat in time to evacuate as they were working on the drilling floor of the rig when it exploded. Obviously, it's not news that these workers' families wanted to hear, and most of them are still hoping for positive news. The missing workers include nine employees of Houston-based Transocean, the owner of the rig, as well as Houston based M-I-SWACO, a company that provides drilling fluids.
There are a number of theories being expounded about the causes for the explosion, the worst oil rig disaster in more than half a century. One main issue that will be investigated is why the blowout preventer failed which would have sealed off the wellhead preventing the explosion. The investigation could take months and Houston offshore injury lawyers anxiously await the investigation to be completed. Many questions surround how an explosion like this could have happened. It would not be surprising if safety problems were at the heart of the main cause. Safety issues on rigs such as this often are overlooked or ignored by supervisors and management during the 24 hour, round-the-clock operation.
Our prayers and deepest condolences are with the families, friends and co-workers of the missing and injured workers. If you or a loved one was injured in this explosion, contact the Husband & Wife Legal Team at The Kahn Law Firm today by calling 713-226-9900.