BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Thursday April 29 2010 06:07 GMT

Oil set on fire in leak disaster

Oil spill

Animals at risk from oil spill

A huge oil leak in the sea has been set alight to try to save thousands of fish and birds which live in the area.

The spill happened when an oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven workers are missing and feared dead.

By setting the oil on fire, it's hoped that it will burn away and not do so much damage.

However, this comes as US coast guards said that five times more oil than they first thought was pumping into the sea from the sunken oil rig.

It's thought that 5,000 barrels of oil a day are leaking into the sea, which is 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana in America.

Officials are warning that sealing the leaks could take months.

An investigation into the cause of the disaster is under way.