Late on the night of April 20th, 50 miles from the shore of Louisiana, a fire broke out aboard the Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil rig under lease by BP, with 126 individuals on board. After a massive explosion, all but 11 of the crew managed to escape as the rig was consumed by fire, later collapsing and sinking into the Gulf. Safeguards set in place to automatically cap the oil well in case of catastrophe did not work as expected, and now an estimated 5,000 barrels (over 200,000 gallons) of crude oil is pouring into the Gulf of Mexico every day - and could possibly continue to do so for months as complicated efforts are made to stop the leak. Collected here are several recent photos of the developing situation along Louisiana's Gulf Shore - one with the potential to eclipse the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in scope and damage. Firefighting boats spray seawater onto the burning Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 21, 2010. The oil platform burned for 36 hours after a massive explosion, then later sank into the Gulf of Mexico. A Louisiana Heron rests in the fragile wetlands near the town of Venice, in the path of the oil spill that is creeping towards the coast of Louisiana. Workers move containment booms to a smaller vessel on the Mississippi River at Port Eads, Louisiana on Thursday, April 29, 2010. A huge effort is underway to help mitigate the effects of an oil spill caused by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig.