Oil Spill Reaches Louisiana

The US coastguard is now investigating reports that oil from the Deepwater Horizon rig has begun washing ashore near the mouth of the Mississippi river.

Yesterday the coastguard said up to 5,000 barrels a day were flowing into the sea – five times the rate previously estimated – as an assistant chief at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said he was “frightened for the country”.

Louisiana has declared a state of emergency and the White House said the president, Barack Obama, and the joint chiefs of staff were being briefed regularly on the situation. Yesterday Obama said that BP was “ultimately responsible” for the spill.

A spokesman confirmed this morning that the US national coastguard had received reports of the oil washing ashore. He said officials from the coastguard and BP were out investigating the reports, and would make an announcement later today.

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