The saw being used to cut through the pipe on the damaged oil well in the Gulf of Mexico has become stuck, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said at a press conference this morning, stalling the latest attempt to contain the BP oil gusher. The goal is now to free the saw and finish the cut later in the day, Allen said. This is the second major cut in the effort to contain— not plug—the nation's worst spill. Allen says the first cut with giant shears was successful overnight.
If the saw is able to resume cutting, then BP hopes as early as today to install a tight-fitting cap on top of the upper most part of that stack, known as the Lower Marine Riser Package, Allen said. That would let the company attach a pipe system to siphon off oil spewing from the well and send it to a ship on water's surface.
If the saw is broken, Allen said a backup cutter may have to be brought in, though he could not say how long that might take.