The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded off the tip of Louisiana’s Mississippi River delta 12 years ago -- a few minutes before 10 p.m. on April 20, 2010 -- killing 11 rig workers.
Two days later, the burning rig sank, snapping the steel piping connected to the blown out oil well and sending crude flowing unfettered into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days. It was the largest offshore spill in U.S. history. The deadly rig explosion led to an unprecedented federal response, including a six-month deepwater drilling moratorium and a record $4.5 billion in criminal penalties against the oil company, BP.
The Deepwater Horizon was a floating mobile drilling rig owned by Transocean and leased by BP to drill the Macondo oil well. There were 126 people on board and the crew had just finished plugging what they called the “well from hell.”