Cleanup to resume at US oil spill as Bonnie fizzles out
Ships will be able to return to the Gulf of Mexico within hours to continue siphoning oil from the BP Plc spill, a spokesman for cleanup coordinators told the German Press Agency dpa on Saturday afternoon as an approaching storm continued to weaken.
"Tropical depression Bonnie is much weaker than expected," he noted.
Almost all ships and platforms had left the spill area on Friday as the storm known as Bonnie neared, with only two vessels staying behind to monitor the well.
Bonnie, which was expected to reach the United States coast between the states of Louisiana and Alabama on Saturday night, now has sustained winds of only 45 kilometres per hour, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.
That led the center to lift all of its tropical storm warnings along the US coast.
The spill continued to make headlines on Saturday, with the New York Times newspaper reporting Saturday that the emergency alarm on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was not fully activated the day it exploded in April, setting off the environmental catastrophe.
"They did not want people woke up at 3 am from false alarms," the rig's chief electronics technician, Mike Williams, on Friday told a government panel investigating the explosion, the paper said.
Williams survived the ensuing fire and sinking of the rig by jumping into the water. Eleven other people died.
The alarm did not sound during the emergency, leaving workers to relay information through loudspeakers to the 126 people on the oil rig, the paper said.
It quoted Williams as saying that the lack of a fully functioning alarm hampered the effort to safely evacuate the rig.