Crews conduct five successful controlled burns - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Crews conduct five successful controlled burns

GULF OF MEXICO (WLOX) - Favorable weather in the Gulf of Mexico allowed U.S. Coast Guard crews to conduct more controlled oil burns and drop thousands of gallons of chemicals on the slick this week.

The controlled burn was conducted by contracted fishing vessels working in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, BP, and other federal agencies to aid in preventing the spread of oil.

Wednesday, 18 flights dropped 150,000 gallons of a chemical that breaks down the oil on the water's surface and helps prevent it from reaching the shore. Marine scientists say the oil balls suspended in the water can also be consumed by bacteria, which can pass toxins up the food chain.

Crews also skimmed 588,000 gallons of an oil-water mixture and conducted five controlled burns.

At the site of the leak, meanwhile, workers hope to have a huge containment box lowered to the seabed this evening. But it could be next week before it's fully operational, and officials will know whether it's been able to contain most of the oil.

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