加州漏油: 调查人员认为1200英尺长的货船拖拽了管道

在这艘大型船只本周末抵达长滩港后几个小时,一支试图追查泄漏原因的联邦调查人员登上了巴拿马注册的 MSC DANIT, the same area where the leak was discovered in early October.

During a prior visit by the ship during a heavy storm in January, investigators believe its anchor dragged for an unknown distance before striking the 16-inch steel pipe, 海岸警卫队 Lt. j.g. SondraKay Kneen said Sunday.

Workers in protective suits clean the contaminated beach in Corona Del Mar after an oil spill in Newport Beach, 加利福尼亚州, 在十月. 7, 2021.

Workers in protective suits clean the contaminated beach in Corona Del Mar after an oil spill in Newport Beach, 加利福尼亚州, 在十月. 7, 2021. (美联社照片/ Ringo H.W. u, 文件)

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The impact would have knocked an inch-thick concrete casing off the pipe and pulled it more than 100 脚, bending but not breaking the line, Kneen said.

Still undetermined is whether the impact caused the October leak, or if the line was hit by something else at a later date or failed due to a preexisting problem, Kneen said.

We’re still looking at multiple vessels and scenarios,” 她说.

The Coast Guard on Saturday designated the owner and operator as parties of interest in its investigation into the spill, estimated to have released about 25,000 gallons of crude into the water, killing birds, fish and mammals.

The accident just a few miles off Huntington Beach in Orange County fouled beaches and wetlands and led to temporary closures for cleanup work. 而 not as bad as initially feared, it has reignited the debate over offshore drilling in federal waters in the Pacific, where hundreds of miles of pipelines were installed decades ago.

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The DANIT’s operator, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, is headquartered in 瑞士 and has a fleet of 600 vessels and more than 100,000 工作人员, 根据公司.

MSC representatives did not immediately respond to email messages seeking comment. A security guard reached by telephone at the company’s headquarters in Geneva said it was closed until Monday.

The vessel’s owner, identified by the Coast Guard as Dordellas Finance Corporation, could not be reached for comment.

The DANIT arrived in Long Beach this weekend after voyaging from 中国, according to marine traffic monitoring websites.

In this photo from Oct. 3, 2021, cleanup contractors deploy skimmers and floating barriers known as booms to try to stop further oil crude incursion into the Wetlands Talbert Marsh in Huntington Beach, 加利福尼亚州, after an oil spill off Southern California.

In this photo from Oct. 3, 2021, cleanup contractors deploy skimmers and floating barriers known as booms to try to stop further oil crude incursion into the Wetlands Talbert Marsh in Huntington Beach, 加利福尼亚州, after an oil spill off Southern California. (美联社照片/ Ringo H.W. u, 文件)

The investigation into what caused the spill could lead to 刑事指控 or civil penalties, but none have been announced yet, and Kneen said the probe could continue for months.

Attorneys for MSC and Dordellas will have the chance to examine and cross-examine the government’s witnesses in the case and also to call their own witnesses, according to the Coast Guard. The investigation also includes the National Transportation Safety Board and other agencies.

Kneen declined to say if any damage was found to an anchor on the DANIT after a team of at least five investigators spent much of Saturday aboard the ship.

At least two other vessels were previously boarded by investigators, who are examining logs kept by the shipscaptains, officers and engineers and voyage data recorders — equivalent to the so-called black box on airplanes.

In this photo from Oct. 11, 2021, a family is under an umbrella as workers continue to clean the contaminated beach in Huntington Beach, 加利福尼亚州.

In this photo from Oct. 11, 2021, a family is under an umbrella as workers continue to clean the contaminated beach in Huntington Beach, 加利福尼亚州. (美联社照片/ Ringo H.W. u, 文件)

In response to the new focus on the DANIT, the Houston-based owner of the damaged pipeline, Amplify Energy, thanked the Coast Guard for its continued work on the case.

Amplify representatives have not directly responded to questions about an hourslong delay between an alarm indicating a potential problem with the pipeline and the company reporting the leak to federal authorities.

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