Wednesday, June 23, 2010

BP Removes Cap, Two Men Dead

The Coast Guard is reporting two deaths today related to the oil spill effort, according to ABC.

Conflicting reports about whether the deaths are work-related or not. Both are under investigation. According to ABC: "One was an accident regarding a swimming pool, a swimming event, and the other one was a vessel of opportunity operator in Gulf Shores, Miss.," he said."

The term "Vessel of opportunity" refers to a ship or boat that has been involuntarily pressed into service for BP's cleanup effort.

From the Alabama Press-Register:

William Allen Kruse, born 1955, was the captain of The Rookie, a charter fishing boat normally based in Orange Beach, said Deputy Baldwin County Coroner Rod Steade.

Steade said the deckhands were on the docks and heard a gunshot and went back on and found him dead on the "flying bridge."

As yet, no further specifics about the other death have been released, but we're watching this story very closely and trying to get more information. Kruse's death certainly sounds like a potential suicide, but we're not ruling out foul play.

Meanwhile, BP has removed their cap from oil leak in the Gulf, and the flow now appears to be even more methane-laden than ever. From the Associated Press:

NEW ORLEANS — Hundreds of thousands of gallons more oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday after an undersea robot bumped a venting system and forced BP to remove a cap that had been containing some of the crude.

When the robot bumped the system, gas rose through the vent that carries warm water down to prevent ice-like crystals from forming in the cap, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said.

The cap was removed and crews were checking to see if crystals had formed before putting it back on. Allen did not say how long that might take.

"There's more coming up than there had been, but it's not a totally unconstrained discharge," Allen said.

In the meantime, a different system was still burning oil on the surface.