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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Engineers had to completely uncap the broken oil well spewing into the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday after an undersea robot bumped into machinery being used to collect the spilled fuel. Hundreds of thousands of gallons more poured into the water as crews scrambled to replace a critical component.
The mishap left nothing to stem the flow of oil at its source. A camera recording the well showed huge clouds of black fluid coming out of the sea floor. It was not clear how long workers would need to replace the cap, which took weeks to install.
Bob Dudley, the managing director of BP who is taking over the spill response, said engineers expected to replace the cap in less than a day.