Pipe Successfully Cut in Key Step Toward Halting Leak

Adm. Thad W. Allen, who is commanding the federal response to a spill that has been called the nation’s worst environmental disaster, told a news conference in Metairie, La. that the cut was “ a significant step forward.” But he cautioned that using as shear, rather than a finer diamond-laced wire saw, as the slicing instrument resulted in a jagged cut that will mean the containment cap will fit less snugly.

Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen says BP has successfully sliced off a pipe in an effort to contain the Gulf oil, but the cut is irregular and placing a cap over the spill will be more challenging. Allen said today that the cap was over the gusher and expected to be lowered in the next couple of hours. This is BP's latest attempt to contain the oil. The best chance to plug the leak is still two months away.