Published: Jun 10, 2010 7:55 AM EDT
Updated: Jun 10, 2010 7:54 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is meeting Thursday

with relatives of the 11 workers killed in the Gulf of Mexico oil

rig explosion that set off the worst environmental disaster in the

nation's history.

The family members were meeting the president at the White

House, where he was to offer his condolences for their losses. The

drilling rig that was being leased by BP PLC blew up April 20 and

sank two days later. The bodies of the 11 workers never were found.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the president also wants

to hear the families' thoughts on safety conditions and changes the

government could make to ensure that future deepwater oil drilling

is safe.

The BP spill has released millions of gallons of oil into the

Gulf.