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Two Offshore Platforms Shut Down Near Gulf Oil Sheen

Offshore Platforms Shutdown Near Oil Spill

This image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows a containment boom staged at the Breton National Wildlife Refuge, Thursday, April 29, 2010. The spill _ a slick more than 130 miles long and 70 miles wide _ threatens hundreds of species of wildlife, including birds, dolphins and the fish, shrimp, oysters and crabs that make the Gulf Coast one of the nation's most abundant sources of seafood.AP

NEW ORLEANS -- Federal authorities have shut down two offshore platforms and evacuated one of them near a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Coast Guard said Saturday that the shutdowns were a safety precaution.

Meanwhile, crews used remotely controlled underwater vehicles to apply chemical dispersants at the site of the leak, nearly 5,000 feet underwater. The leak was caused when a drilling rig operated by oil giant BP exploded.

It was not immediately known how effective the underwater dispersal attempt would be. BP and federal authorities said the dispersant was released overnight. They were evaluating the effort Saturday morning, according to a news release.

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