Deepwater Horizon - Update

According to latest reports, concerns are growing for the 11 workers still missing following the explosion on the rig on Tuesday evening, which caused the rig to collapse and sink yesterday.

A team of engineers is also working to control a major oil spill, caused by very subtantial amounts of oil and gas pumping out from the oil reservoir

According to Transocean, the Swiss company that owned the rig, engineers are trying to cut off the uncontrolled flow of oil using a subsea robot. Apparently the the robot, equipped with cameras and remote-controlled arms, is being used to try to activate an automatic shut off device on the seafloor, designed automatically to clamp shut over the base of a pipe that connects the rig with the seabed.

First priority is to locate the missing persons and deal with the spillage. The investigation, when it takes place, will certainly have to look at the design of similar shut-off devices to ensure that in future, activation occurs even in extreme circumstances such as this.

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