US oil slick five times bigger

US oil slick five times bigger

In a hastily called news conference, Rear Adm Mary E Landry of the Coast Guard said a scientist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had concluded that oil is leaking at the rate of 5,000 barrels a day, not 1,000 as had been estimated.

While emphasising that the estimates are rough given that the leak is at 5,000 feet below the surface, Landry said the new estimate came from observations made in flights over the slick.

An explosion and fire on a drilling rig on April 20 left 11 workers missing and presumed dead.  Wind patterns may push the spill into the coast of Louisiana as soon as Friday night, officials said, prompting consideration of more urgent measures to protect coastal wildlife.

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