Crews depart with giant box to help Gulf oil leak

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 6, 2010

PORT FOURCHON, La. (AP) — A ship carrying a 100-ton containment box is heading to an oil leak site in the Gulf of Mexico to try to cover the flow of crude and funnel it to a tanker.

The ship was on its way early Wednesday evening and is headed about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. An Associated Press reporter and photographer are aboard to document the journey, and the lowering of the contraption to 5,000-feet below the water’s surface.

It will be the first time the use of such a system has been attempted at this depth.

The concrete-and-steel structure is 40-feet tall and will be outfitted with pipes that will carry the crude into a tanker.

BP hopes the contraption can be on the seabed in the next two days, and that it will be able to hook up the device over the weekend.