UPDATE: Coast Guard likely to call off search for missing workers - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Coast Guard likely to call off search for missing workers

NEW ORLEANS (WKOW) -- A bit of positive news following the Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster: an underwater robotic camera shows there is no crude oil leaking from the site where the oil drilling rig sank.

But there is still no sign of the 11 missing workers and the Coast Guard is preparing to call off the search.

Despite the oil rig burning fiercely for 36 hours and sinking, the Coast Guard says no oil is leaking from the well-head at the bottom of the gulf.

There are still environmental concerns, however: before the Deepwater Horizon rig sank Thursday, it produced a 5-mile long residual oil slick.

The race now is to circle and mop up the oil before it hits Louisiana's coastline, where it could damage the fragile eco-system. BP, which leased the rig, is leading the effort.

Predicted rough weather could push it toward shore faster, potentially reaching land in a few days.

As for the missing workers, hope of finding them alive is all but gone. Some of the 115 survivors who managed to scramble onto rescue boats say the unaccounted-for men may have been near the source of the explosion that caused the fire.

With those statements, up to 2,000 miles of ocean already searched and cool water temperatures, the Coast Guard is expected to call off the search sometime Friday.


NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Coast Guard officials say there is no oil currently leaking from a drilling rig that exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, leaving 11 workers unaccounted for.

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said Friday morning that no oil appeared to be leaking from the well head at the ocean floor 5,000 feet deep, nor was any oil leaking at the water's surface.

Landry says the oil being contained now was residual from the explosion and sinking. The Deepwater Horizon had burned violently for nearly two days until it sank Thursday morning. The fire has been put out.

BP PLC, which leased the rig and took the lead in the cleanup, says it is using 32 vessels to mop up the current spill. Officials had initially estimated 336,000 gallons of crude oil a day could be leaking.


NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Coast Guard has retracted its statement that a second explosion occurred on an oil platform that sank off the Louisiana coast.

Petty Officer Tom Atkeson says a computer time-stamp problem created a mistaken impression that a crew member reported an initial explosion three hours before the rig went up in flames Tuesday.

Atkeson and two other spokesmen, including Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike O'Berry were mistaken when they told The Associated Press that crew members reported the first blast at 7 p.m. CDT.

He says only one report was sent and that was at 10 p.m. Central.


NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Coast Guard says a crew member from an oil platform that sank off Louisiana reported an initial explosion three hours before the rig went up in flames in a second, larger explosion.

Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike O'Berry says the first blast was reported at 7 p.m. CDT Tuesday.

Later, the rig sent an emergency signal. O'Berry says a nearby rig at the same time reported the Deepwater Horizon was in flames.

He says the rig didn't ask for help during the initial call. The Coast Guard sent help after the emergency signal came.

The Coast Guard is investigating what happened during that three hours.

A spokesman for the rig owner says any logged events are part of the investigation.

Seventeen workers are hurt, 11 missing and more than 100 escaped.

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