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US oil spill in Gulf of Mexico leaking 5,000 barrels a day

Officials are conducting a ‘controlled burn’ of the surface oil, fearing destruction of the vulnerable wetland areas along the coast.

April 29, 2010 8:25 by

The US coast Guard reports that five times the volume oil originally estimated is leaking from under an oil rig that sank last week in the Gulf of Mexico. The revised estimates are based on aerial surveys of the slick, as well as its moving trajectory, by the US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the BBC reported Thursday.

A new leak has reportedly been discovered under the sunken rig, with State of Louisiana’s Governor reportedly requesting emergency federal assistance to protect citizens and the environment, the BBC reported.

The first of the leaks was discovered Saturday, days after an explosion caused the rig platform to sink. Experts believe the oil spill now encompasses more than 28,000 sq miles, and is a mere 20 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River, the BBC said.

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