Oil Spill 5 Times Worse Than Thought

New leak found at Gulf oil rig explosion site
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2010 3:15 AM CDT
Updated Apr 29, 2010 7:45 AM CDT
Oil is seen eight miles off the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River at the southern tip of Louisiana.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – A new leak has been discovered at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, and oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico at 5 times earlier estimates, according to the Coast Guard. Some 5,000 barrels of oil a day are now believed to be pouring into the sea as authorities scramble to prevent the huge oil slick from reaching land, AP reports.

Rig operator BC, which disputes the Coast Guard's figures, says it could take months to dig a new well to relieve pressure at the site. Crews performed a test burn on part of the slick late yesterday. A 500-foot boom will be used today to separate and move parts of the slick so it can be safely burned off, leaving a tarry residue authorities say will pose little threat to wildlife.

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