Oil Gushing at Spill Site After Vent Damaged; Two Deaths in Cleanup Effort
Oil was again gushing uncontrollably from the BP spill site on Wednesday after the company was forced to remove the containment cap when a robotic submarine hit a vent. The news came as officials also reported two deaths of people who had been hired for the response effort.
BP hoped to reinstall the cap later Wednesday after fixing the vent and checking for safety.
Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said the accident sent gas rising through a vent that carries warm water down to prevent ice-like crystals from forming in the cap.
The cap was then removed, Allen said, and crews are checking to see if crystals have formed before putting it back on. In the meantime, a different system is stilling burning oil on the surface.
The deaths reported Wednesday were not tied to the containment operation. The Coast Guard said the workers had been involved in cleanup operations did that their deaths did not appear to be work related.
One death was a boat captain who died of a gunshot wound, a Coast Guard spokesman said. Further details were not immediately available.