The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH)

Pipeline may have been hooked by ship’s anchor

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HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIF. » The pipeline that leaked tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the water off Southern California was split open and apparently dragged more than 100 feet along the ocean floor, possibly by a ship’s anchor, officials said Tuesday.

The segment of the pipe that was dragged was three-quarters of a mile long, and the gash was over a foot wide, the Coast Guard said.

Preliminar­y reports suggest the failure may have been “caused by an anchor that hooked the pipeline, causing a partial tear,” federal transporta­tion investigat­ors said.

The break in the line occurred about 5 miles offshore at a depth of about 98 feet beneath the surface, the investigat­ors said. Those findings were included in an order from the Department of Transporta­tion that blocks the company that operates the pipeline from restarting it without extensive inspection­s and testing.

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