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Photo of the Week (4/26/10)


Black Death
Duck being cleaned
Linda Schonknecht/Marine Photobank
On April 20, an oil rig exploded and sank two days later on Earth Day in the Gulf of Mexico near Louisiana. The U.S. Coast Guard reports that the sunken rig, which carries 700,000 gallons of diesel, has begun to leak its contents underwater. The seepage of diesel into the environment could seriously threaten marine life. Fish can suffocate from clogged gills or suffer organ failure from absorbing toxic and volatile compounds. Seabirds, like this duck caught in an oil spill off Norway last year, can coat themselves in oil and lose their feathers' insulation and waterproofing. Inhalation, ingestion, and exposure can also result in pneumonia, hypothermia, poisoning, and developmental problems, among other ailments.

This accident in the Gulf occurred only weeks after the Obama Administration proposed ending a moratorium on oil exploration along the U.S. East Coast, from the northern tip of Delaware to the central coast of Florida as well as a portion of the Gulf of Mexico.

Read More: Reuters, Washington Post

For a timeline of oil rig accidents reported by MSNBC, see www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36698459/ns/us_news/

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