Storm Bonnie halts BP spill clean up

23 Jul 2010
The oil spill clean up teams are being evacuated from the Gulf.

The oil spill clean up teams are being evacuated from the Gulf.

Work at the site of the Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill will stop for 10-12 days until Tropical Storm Bonnie has passed.

Bonnie is the second named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, with wind speeds of 40mph, said the US National Hurricane Center.It could be at the spill site by early on Saturday 24 July.

It has already caused flooding in Haiti, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen said due to the risk that Tropical Storm Bonnie poses to the safety of the nearly 2,000 people responding to the BP oil spill at the well site, many of the vessels and rigs will be moved out of harm's way.

This includes the rig drilling the relief well that will ultimately kill the well, as well as other vessels needed for containment.

"I have directed BP to continue with the well shut while the work to kill the well is temporarily suspended.

"While these actions may delay the effort to kill the well for several days, the safety of the individuals at the well site is our highest concern. We are staging our skimming vessels and other assets in a manner that will allow us to promptly restart oil mitigation efforts as soon as the storm passes and we can ensure the safety of our personnel."

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