Oil spill growing in Gulf of Mexico off La. coast

The slick from a sunken rig has spread over an area 80 miles wide and 48 miles long

Published April 27, 2010 1:02PM (EDT)

The Coast Guard says a sheen of oil that's been covering an area in the Gulf of Mexico since an oil rig exploded off the Louisiana coast is growing.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Erik Swanson says that as of Tuesday morning, the sheen has grown to about 48 miles long and 80 miles wide at its widest.

At the moment, the wind has been blowing the oil away from the shore. But Swanson says the winds could shift later in the week and there's concern about oil reaching the shore.

So far, skimming vessels have collected more than 48,000 gallons of oily water. Meanwhile, remote control vehicles have been working around the clock underwater to try to stop the oil leak.

Eleven people have been missing since last week's explosion and are presumed dead.



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