Joysticks maneuver robots next to broken oil pipe - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Joysticks maneuver robots next to broken oil pipe

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) – Technicians are using joysticks this morning to carefully maneuver undersea robots into place. Those robots will attempt to place a six inch tube and its rubber stopper into the ruptured 21 inch oil pipe at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

If this procedure works, some of the oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon will be siphoned onto a vessel that sits 5,000 feet above the leak.

As they tried to plug the leak, BP executives learned that federal regulators approved spraying chemical dispersants beneath the sea. This was a contentious development because it has never been done underwater.

It's been more than three weeks since the oil rig explosion that killed 11 workers and set off the disastrous spill. Officials have been desperate to plug it as at least 210,000 gallons of oil has been leaking into the Gulf each day.

Also today, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is scheduled to visit a wildlife rehabilitation center in Buras to observe efforts to treat oiled birds. The department said Salazar's tour of the Fort Jackson Wildlife Rehabilitation Center on Saturday will be followed by a visit to Robert, where he will participate in a press briefing on the response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Louisiana's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says at least 13 oiled birds have died since an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig triggered the massive spill. Seven others that were recovered are still alive.

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