It's not what you expect to see in the Gulf of Mexico: a massive wall of flames and thick smoke. But that's what could happen as crews today began a last-ditch effort to burn up an oil spill before it hits land and potentially causes an environmental disaster. They did a test burn this evening. We expect to see the first video of the burn any minute now and we'll check in with Chad Meyers for breaking news details on how this dangerous work is being done.
The spill continues to grow as 42,000 gallons of oil leaks from an underwater well that was broken open when a drill rig exploded and sank last week. 11 workers are believed to have died in the blast. Their bodies have never been recovered.
The slick stretches for about 100 miles across the north-central gulf and is about 30 miles wide at some points.
It's within 16 miles of the mouth of the Mississippi, the U.S. Coast Guard reports.
Efforts to cap the well using remote-controlled submarines have failed. Louisiana officials fear the oil could reach the state's shoreline late Friday or early Saturday and damage shellfish and wildlife.
BP, which owns the oil well, is spending $6 million a day trying to control the spill. The company's CEO said today the explosion could have been prevented and he's putting them blame on the rig owner Transocean Ltd. A spokesman for Transocean has declined to respond to BP's comments. But Transocean's Vice President has said the oil rig had no signs of a problem before the blast.
We'll also take you inside a new adoption controversy tied to Russia. A Virginia couple is suing an adoption agency claiming they lied and deceived them. They say the boy they took home from Russia is severely ill and violent. They don't want to send him back to Russia. They want financial help to care for his special needs.
Also tonight, the rising costs of medical fraud. Harry Markopolos, the financial analyst who flagged the Bernie Madoff scam before anyone and was ignored, is now focusing on the health care industry.
Join us for these stories and much more tonight at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.
Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
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Remember the words: DRILL BABY DRILL! Well this is the result! This is going to be a total disaster for the Gulf & right now my understanding is this well is so deep that they can't get to it to stop it!
GREAT thinking & planning! IF we are going to continue to drill in the deep ocean's then something has to be developed to stop things like this when they happen! I guess that there is no way to suck up this oil and then reclaim it?
I live in Panama City, Florida and i work right across the street from the beach. All of us who live and work here cannot imagine the disaster that would occur if the oil makes it to our coast. From the sea turtles that nest here to the tourism industry, it would be a calamity. Without tourism many of us would be forced out on the street, this could not have come at a worse time for nature or for us workers.
I live in the panhandle of Florida (Panama City Beach) and just about everything along the Gulf, in one form or another, relies on tourism. *sarcasm* i hear oil spills are great for bringing tourists around. This should help or economy nicely *sarcasm off*
You hear "accidents rarely happen" and "we need to drill in the gulf to ease our dependency on foreign oil" ... blah blah blah.
It only takes one mishap to ruin it for a very long time. Look at Alaska. The spill there happened in 1989 and there's still evidence of it.
Nothing better than a nice sunset on the beach and the stink of crude !
Ban not expand offshore drilling !
May we all learn from this tragic calamity to respect nature more and lower our carbon footprints. We must all become more environmentally conscious.
I have no words other than that this is very, very sad 🙁
Every available resource in our control should be on this spill. BP financed this project. BP is responsible to ensure safety of (employees and the world’s ocean) no matter what. Management of BP, you cannot and the American people will not let you delegate your responsibility for the world’s ocean.
You are ruining what my family loves, enjoys and respects…. the beautiful golf coast. Tax payers’ livelihoods are at stake BP- reverse this problem immediately.
Thanks to CNN and Anderson for keeping us updated and holding responsible parties accountable.
Politicians constantly lie that oil drilling is safe. It is not. Then, two weeks later they say "well accidents happen." ENOUGH. We need and deserve the cleanest oceans and Earth possible. Get a panel of experts to figure out clean energy alternatives! We have three strikes your out for common criminals how bout for those who are destroying our Earth. Unethical big biz are destroying America and politicians don't have the guts or care to penalize them so it happens every 100 years not each year!
Every time an oil drilling platform is erected in our oceans we are risking just what happened on this one. The consequences of a spill like this aren't weighed suitably before the rig is built; but only at the time of the spill – marine ecosystems destroyed, ocean life killed, shores where the oil washes up on land befouled and the bird life damaged as their wings get coated with the oil. How much marine life and coastal life has to be destroyed before we factor in this danger and weigh it against the energy requirements and the monetary value of the oil/gas we are going to extract?
Start by boycotting BP. We are going down this week for vacation and will assist in any clean up that we can during our visit. Hopefully Obama will change his tune about drilling in this area for good. BP and all other oil companies should have a plan for such an event that is waiting at all oil drilling sites. Shame on them, I hope they pay dearly and go out of business, but this wont happen and we will end up paying for this catastrophe monitarily and more. We are already paying with the loss of such a beautiful environment.
"No offshore drilling"
Dan Roberts, you are officially weird.
What a pity, what can we do? help with the beaches maybe? this is a calamity for the Gulf of Mexico and the surrounding communities. We really need everybody on board to help with this mess!
I am a child of the Gulf of Mexico; born and raised on Panama City Beach. I have spent my life in stewardship of the Gulf. The salty water flows through my veins. I am saddened beyond belief at this careless waste of a precious and giving resource. It will never be the same. I am sorry oh Gulf. You have always bathed my soul, cleansed my heart and swallowed my tears. What but nothing can I do to help you now! The sky is not only red, it is crying from off towards New Orleans!!!