An oil rig was exploring for oil just 52 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana. On Tuesday, an explosion, cause unknown, set the rig on fire. Despite efforts to control the flames, the rig sank after burning for 36 hours. Eleven workers are still missing and presumed dead.
Photograph from Eight Coast Guard District website
According to Coastguard Petty Officer Katherine McNamara, the submerged well may be releasing up to 8,000 barrels (300,000 gallons) of crude oil per day. An oil slick one mile by five miles appeared on the surface of the water.