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Search for 11 missing oil rig workers ends

After three grueling days of scouring more than 5,300 square miles of open sea the U.S. Coast Guard called off its search Friday evening for 11 crew members missing after Tuesday's explosion and fire aboard an offshore oil rig.

Nearly defying belief, Coast Guard officials said on Friday the massive rig, which sunk Thursday morning, was itself missing, lost somewhere in 5,000 feet of water as it descended to the ocean floor.

A valve, meantime, had been activated at the wellhead on the seafloor, cutting off the flow of oil and gas and temporarily preventing a potentially disastrous oil spill.


http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6973797.html
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