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Crews position massive dome over Gulf leak

Methane gas bubble blamed for rig blast
BP crews Friday positioned a 100-ton, four-story containment dome over the major leak site of an out-of-control oil well, an effort that offered the most immediate hope of corralling a spill that already has closed Gulf of Mexico fishing and threatens the environment onshore.

Meanwhile, crews using containment booms, chemical dispersants and controlled burns attacked the massive spill that, for the most part, still gathered off the coast although some oil has made landfall off the Chandeleur barrier islands in Louisiana.

An apparent blowout of the Macondo well in 5,000 feet of water destroyed the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig April 20, killing 11 crew members and triggering the spill flowing at a daily rate estimated at 5,000 barrels, or 210,000 gallons.

In new developments on Friday, the Associated Press reported that workers told BP investigators that the rig blast was triggered by a bubble of methane gas that escaped from the well and shot up the drill column, expanding quickly before exploding.

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