Yet Another Multiple Death Disaster Offshore

Transocean Deepwater Horizon, Gulf of Mexico. Eleven colleagues die as control is lost of an experimental well off the coast of Luisiana. 'Experimental' in the sense that the well head was a mile below the rig floor and hardware and the well control plan evidently not adequate. The blame game has begun with BP taking big hits and Haliburton and Transocean keeping heads down.

NEW ORLEANS — This was supposed to be one of the best months of Michelle Jones' life: giving birth to her second son, her husband Gordon at her side.

Instead, she must prepare for the birth without her baby's father.

Gordon Jones, 28, was among the 11 who died when an oil rig exploded April 20 in the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly two weeks after the tragedy, relatives of the dead have held memorial services, sued rig operator BP-PLC and grappled with waves of grief as the catastrophe plays out on a worldwide stage – with barely a mention of their loved ones' names.

"It seems like people have forgotten," said Michelle Jones, who, at nine months pregnant, will give birth any day.

She and other victims' family members aren't casting blame; they understand the environmental impact is the reason why the spill has gotten so much attention and their loved ones, so little.

Had it been a plane crash or a tornado strike, grieving families and friends could at least to go the place where their loved ones died. They could lay a wreath and pray.

Not so with this disaster. The Deepwater Horizon oil rig was 50 miles south of the Louisiana coast. Because it exploded and burned – and is now a veritable underwater volcano of toxic, oily sludge – the final resting place of those 11 victims is a watery, inaccessible grave.

"I hope and I pray that when they get the oil spill cleaned up that they will have some kind of memorial for them and for the families out there," said Janet Woodson, whose 37-year-old brother, Aaron Dale Burkeen, died in the accident. "That's the last place he was at, and I would like to be there."

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