Federal criminal investigation launched
into cause of oil spill
By Laura Dudnick and Caitlin Cassady
November 12, 2007
With more than 40,000 gallons of oil still saturating Bay Area
waters as of Sunday, a federal criminal investigation into the
cause of last week's spill is under way, according to the U.S.
Human error aboard a tanker ship appears to be what caused the
900-foot Cosco Busan to crash into a San Francisco-Oakland Bay
Bridge tower Wednesday, gashing a hole into the ship from which
approximately 58,000 gallons of oil poured into the San Francisco
Bay, the Coast Guard reported.
Since the spill, oil has reportedly spread from the bay to waters
as far north as Stinson Beach and as far south as Ocean Beach.
The U.S. attorney's office is engaged in a federal criminal investigation
regarding the spill's cause, according to the Coast Guard.
The National Transportation Safety Board has also launched an
investigation into the cause of the crash, the Coast Guard reported.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said at a news conference Sunday
that everything she has heard about the oil spill "indicates
that this should not have happened."
Recovery efforts from assisting the bay's wildlife to cleaning
the spill from the water are ongoing.
Seven miles of containment boom have been deployed to scoop up
the oil and more than 12,000 gallons have been collected, according
to the Coast Guard.
In addition, about 4,000 gallons of oil have evaporated, the
Coast Guard reported.
Although the sulfur in oil is potentially hazardous to inhale,
Bay Area Air Quality Management District Chair Mark Ross said
air quality is most likely not threatened by the spill.
"We don't in any way think that air quality will be affected,
other than the unsavory odors you will smell in proximity to the
oil," Ross said on Thursday.
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