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Expedition to contain oil leak begins in Gulf

May 6, 2010 6:31:00 AM - thestate.com
A 100-ton concrete-and-steel contraption designed to siphon off the oil fouling the Gulf of Mexico was being hauled to the spot in the sea where a blown-out well is spewing hundreds of thousands of gallons of petroleum a day.

Engineers hope it will be the best short-term solution to controlling the leak that has only worsened since it began two weeks ago.

A rapid response team planned to head to the Chandeleur Islands off Louisiana's coast Thursday to look into unconfirmed reports that oil from the spill had arrived there, Coast Guard Petty Officer Erik Swanson said.

A boat hauling the specially built containment box and dome structure pushed off Wednesday evening from the Louisiana coast and was expected to arrive at the site of the disaster sometime Thursday.

The Joe Griffin will meet up with another BP-chartered boat, the Boa Sub C, a Norwegian vessel that will use a crane to lower the contraption to the seafloor to cover the gusher of oil spewing from the seabed - something that has never been tried before at such depths. BP spokesman Bill Salvin said the drop is expected at about noon on Thursday.

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