Ship’s Anchor May Have Caused Massive California Oil Spill

Workers clean oil from the sand, south of the pier, in Newport Beach, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. A leak in an oil pipeline caused a spill off the coast of Southern California, sending about 126,000 gallons of oil into the ocean, some ending up on beaches in Orange County. (Jeff Gritchen/The Orange County Register via AP)

(AP) — Federal investigators say a ship’s anchor may have hooked, dragged and torn a massive underwater pipeline that spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into the water off Southern California. They also say the pipeline owner didn’t quickly shut down operations after a safety system alerted to a possible spill. The weekend spill sent up to 126,000 gallons of heavy crude into the ocean off Huntington Beach and will close beaches and stop local fishing for weeks. Questions remain about the timeline of the spill. The Coast Guard says a commercial ship reported a possible spill Friday night and later reports followed but the agency waited until sunrise Saturday to investigate.


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