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Gulf Oil Spill: 2nd 'Top Hat' Containment Box Is On Its Way To Leak

Oil Spill Top Hat

HARRY R. WEBER   05/11/10 05:35 PM ET   AP

ON THE GULF OF MEXICO — A BP spokesman says a second, smaller oil containment box known as a "top hat" is being brought to the site of a blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Spokesman Bill Salvin tells The Associated Press the box will be lowered to the seafloor, away from the plume, on Tuesday. He says undersea robots will position it over the gusher by Thursday.

The box is on a vessel in the containment zone right now. Salvin says the box won't be placed over the well right away so engineers can configure it properly and avoid the same kind of ice crystal buildup that stymied their first attempt at using a larger box.

More than 4 million gallons of oil have spewed from the well since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded April 20. That total could eclipse the Exxon Valdez disaster by Father's Day.

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Filed by Katherine Goldstein  |