Crews raced Sunday morning to contain the damage from a major oil spill off the Orange County coast that left crude spoiling beaches, killing fish and birds and threatening local wetlands.
The oil slick, first reported Saturday, originated from a broken pipeline less than three miles off the coast of Huntington Beach connected to an offshore oil platform known as Elly. The rupture has poured more than 126,000 gallons of crude into coastal waters and seeped into the Talbert Marsh, officials said.
By sunrise Sunday, oil had washed ashore in Huntington Beach with slicks visible in the ocean, prompting officials to close a stretch of sand from the pier to the Newport Beach city line. Dead birds and fish had begun to wash up on the shore, officials said.
“We classify this as a major spill, and it is a high priority to us to mitigate any environmental concerns,” said Jennifer Carey, a Huntington Beach city spokesperson. “It’s all hands on deck.”
After sunrise the smell of diesel and tar overwhelmed the shoreline at Huntington State Beach. Crashing waves brought dark oil onto the shore in clumps and rings.
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