The U.S. Coast Guard announced today that the agency has found not one, but two leaks in the line below the wreckage of the Deepwater Horizon rig, which sank 50 miles off the Louisiana coast this week. After using submersibles to survey the site, Coast Guard officials announced that the breaches were leaking approximately 42,000 gallons of oil per day into the Gulf.
"We thought what we were dealing with as of yesterday was a surface residual (oil) from the mobile offshore drilling unit," said Rear Admiral Mary Landry. "In addition to that is oil emanating from the well. It is a big change from yesterday ... This is a very serious spill, absolutely."
News agencies are reporting that the surface slick, which measured just a few miles yesterday, had grown 25 times that size overnight and was now nearly 20 miles long by 20 miles wide.
According to the Minerals Management Service fixing the leaks will not be easy given the depth (nearly 5,000 feet).
Both government officials and environmental organization are preparing for the worst. When asked about the situation, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal acknowledged that the spill could impact not just his state, but the Mississippi, Alabama and Texas coastlines as well.
"This type of accident is certainly one of the worst-case scenarios you can imagine," said Jindal.
According to a Coast guard spokes person, high winds and 10 foot seas are hampering clean-up efforts.