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Louisiana, Mississippi Coasts Threatened by Spill from Oil Rig | cialis online

Louisiana, Mississippi Coasts Threatened by Spill from Oil Rig

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Fears are growing that the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast could sustain serious environmental damage increased yesterday after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig sunk into the Gulf of Mexico yesterday, spilling an undetermined amount of crude oil into the sea. The rig exploded Tuesday night and burst into flames.

Eleven crew members who have been missing since the offshore oil rig exploded and burst into flames Tuesday night are still unaccounted for. According to Bloomberg, the Coast Guard has planned three aerial searches today. If the missing are not found alive, the Deepwater Horizon disaster would go down as the deadliest U.S. offshore rig explosion since 1968.

According to a Bloomberg report, an oil spill measuring 100 square miles is drifting northeast toward shore. The U.S. Coast Guard is taking steps to minimize the environmental damage from the spill, and has dispatched skimming boats and about 1 million feet of boom. It has also prepared planes that drop substances that break up the crude.

BP PLC, which was leasing the oil rig from Transocean LTD, said in a statement that it has “activated an extensive oil spill response.” The company has dispatched remotely operated vehicles to assess the well, and 32 vessels to mop up the spill.

The oil spill is raising serious environmental concerns, and could threaten the fragile ecosystem of the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts. Those areas serve as nurseries for fish and shrimp and habitat for birds.

The immediate effects of toxic and smothering oil waste may be mass mortality and contamination of fish and other food species, but long-term ecological effects may be worse. Oil waste poisons the sensitive marine and coastal organic substrate, interrupting the food chain on which fish and sea creatures depend, and on which their reproductive success is based. Commercial fishing enterprises may be affected permanently.

The explosion on Deepwater Horizon occurred at 10:00 p.m. local time Tuesday night, about 41 miles off the coast of Louisiana. The cause of the blast is unknown, but Transocean said it appeared to be the result of a blowout, in which natural gas or oil forces its way up a well pipe and smashes the equipment.

Seventeen people were injured, with four in critical condition. Injuries included burns, broken legs and smoke inhalation.

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