Oil Rig Sinks, Mississippi Man Missing

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Officials are saying that an explosion on an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana has the potential to be a major spill.

The Coast Guard is still searching for the 11 workers missing since the blast Tuesday.

Rhonda Burkeen said her husband, 37-year-old Aaron Dale Burkeen from the Sandtown community near Philadelphia, was missing after Tuesday's rig explosion about 50 miles off the coast in the Gulf of Mexico.

Burkeen says the family was getting hourly updates from authorities, but the workers had not been found as of Thursday morning.

Rhonda Burkeen says her husband is a crane operator and a father of two.
Seventeen people were injured in the explosion, four critically.

Survivors who escaped the blast have told company officials that they fear those missing were unable to evacuate. The company has been unable to confirm those reports.

The platform burned for more than a day after a massive explosion Tuesday. It sank into the Gulf of Mexico Thursday.

Crews have been searching by air and water for the 11 workers from the Deepwater Horizon, though one relative said family members have been told it's unlikely anyone survived.

A lawsuit is claiming the companies involved in the explosion were negligent.
It was filed in New Orleans Thursday on behalf of a Mississippi man who worked on the rig and is one of 11 people still missing after the blast.

The lawsuit says Shane Roshto, of Amite County, Miss., was thrown overboard in the Tuesday night explosion and is feared dead.

The rig is owned by Transocean Ltd. and was under contract to oil giant BP. Both are defendants in the lawsuit.

A Transocean spokesman declined to comment comment and BP wouldn't discuss the suit.

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