<p><strong>The BP-leased offshore oil rig <em>Deepwater Horizon</em> begins sinking on April 22 in a rare picture of the aftermath of the April 20 explosion that spawned the massive 2010 <a id="k273" title="Gulf of Mexico oil spill" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/gulf-oil-spill-news/">Gulf of Mexico oil spill</a>. </strong></p><p>More exclusive footage of the explosion appears in the <a id="g5wz" title="National Geographic Channel's Gulf Oil Spill documentary" href="http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/episode/gulf-oil-spill-5488/Overview#tab-Overview">National Geographic Channel's <em>Gulf Oil Spill</em> documentary</a>, premiering Thursday night at 10 p.m. ET/PT. (National Geographic News is owned by the National Geographic Society, which partly owns the National Geographic Channel.)<br><br> At the time of the explosion, 126 people were aboard the <em>Deepwater Horizon, </em>about <a id="ngwi" title="50 miles (80 kilometers) from Venice, Louisiana (map)" href="http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/map-machine#s=r&amp;c=29.277189233413786, -89.3575244396925&amp;z=10">50 miles (80 kilometers) from Venice, Louisiana (map)</a>. Eleven people died in the disaster.<br><br> When the burning rig sank on April 22, so too did the pipe connecting the rig to the 5,000-foot-deep (1,500-meter-deep) oil well. That bent, ruptured pipe is the source of the thousands of barrels still spewing daily into the Gulf.</p><p>(Related <a id="rrc-" title="pictures: Heavy Oil Seeping Into Louisiana Marshes." href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/05/photogalleries/100519-gulf-heavy-oil-marsh-bp-shore-washing-up-pictures/#gulf-oil-reaching-marshes-wide_20690_600x450.jpg">pictures: Heavy Oil Seeping Into Louisiana Marshes.</a>)</p>

Deepwater Horizon in Flames

The BP-leased offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon begins sinking on April 22 in a rare picture of the aftermath of the April 20 explosion that spawned the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

More exclusive footage of the explosion appears in the National Geographic Channel's Gulf Oil Spill documentary, premiering Thursday night at 10 p.m. ET/PT. (National Geographic News is owned by the National Geographic Society, which partly owns the National Geographic Channel.)

At the time of the explosion, 126 people were aboard the Deepwater Horizon, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Venice, Louisiana (map). Eleven people died in the disaster.

When the burning rig sank on April 22, so too did the pipe connecting the rig to the 5,000-foot-deep (1,500-meter-deep) oil well. That bent, ruptured pipe is the source of the thousands of barrels still spewing daily into the Gulf.

(Related pictures: Heavy Oil Seeping Into Louisiana Marshes.)

Photograph courtesy Steadfast TV

New Pictures: Gulf Oil Rig Burning, Sinking

See exclusive, up-close pictures of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig—source of the Gulf oil spill—capsizing and sinking in April.

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