"A slow-motion environmental disaster may be in the making with the discovery Saturday that 42,000 gallons a day of crude oil is spewing from a well on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico near where a huge drilling rig sank last week -- and it could be months before it's stopped.
The spill, which a day earlier Coast Guard officials believed was contained within a 16-square-mile area on the surface, now covers some 400 square miles -- slightly bigger than the city of Dallas -- and could grow as the well continues to leak, Rear Adm. Mary Landry, commander of Coast Guard District 8, said Saturday.
'This is a very serious spill,' she said at a press conference, adding that governments of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida had been warned about the threat of oil coming ashore and invited to participate in the response.
Word of the expanding spill came as the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig was found capsized and lying on the sea floor about 1,500 feet northwest of the well, located roughly 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana."
Brett Clanton reports for the Houston Chronicle April 25, 2010.