Yesterday's lowering of a 100-ton cofferdam over one of the oil well leaks "is very good progress," according to BP spokesman Bill Salvin, who compared the procedure to "taking a four-story building and lowering it 5,000 feet and setting it on the head of a pin." The containment box is currently the best hope to cap the ruptured well that has been leaking 200,000 gallons of oil a day. Once it is secured, about 85% of the escaping oil would be forced through piping to a freighter on the surface. The rest would still spew into the ocean.
If the box is not properly secured, it could end up causing further damage to the leaking pipe and make the spill worse. "I'm worried about every part, as you can imagine," BP vice president of engineering projects David Clarkson told the Daily News. New reports also show that a methane bubble that escaped the well and traveled up the drill column triggered the April 20th explosion that killed 11 and caused one of the worst environmental disasters the U.S. has ever seen. According to interviews collected by engineering professor Robert Bea, BP executives were on board the Deepwater Horizon rig celebrating its safety record while workers were setting a cement seal at the bottom of the well. A chemical reaction then created a gas bubble which destroyed the seal, and eventually caused the explosion. Bea said, "What we had learned when I worked as a drill rig laborer was swoosh, boom, run. The swoosh is the gas, boom is the explosion and run is what you better be doing."
The spill is continuing to damage wildlife in the area, and reached several barrier islands off the coast of Louisiana yesterday. The oil is wreaking havoc on the local fishing community; shrimp-boat captain Dustin Chauvin said, "It's all over the place. That's our whole fishing ground. That's our livelihood." Volunteer organizations around the country have been working to ease the impact of the spill, including one urging you to use your pet's hair for good! Matter of Trust is focusing their Excess Access program on collecting dog, cat and human hair to make booms used to suck up oil around the Gulf Coast. Residents of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are bracing themselves for the oil's impact on shore, while east coasters could see the spill travel north due to a "Loop current."