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BP's top kill effort fails to plug Gulf oil leak

Photo by Jae C. Hong

Photo by Jae C. Hong

ROBERT, La.-- BP has failed in its latest attempt to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico with mud and cement.

BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles said Saturday that the maneuver known as a top kill had failed. It was the latest setback for the company trying to stop the crude from further fouling waters, wildlife and marshland.

The spill is the worst in U.S. history and has dumped between 18 million and 40 million gallons into the Gulf, according to government estimates.

BP's top executive had put the chances of success for the top kill at 60 to 70 percent, but officials had cautioned that it had never been done 5,000 feet below the sea.

BP says it's already preparing for the next attempt to stop the leak. Under the new plan, BP would cut off the damaged riser from which the oil is leaking and cap it with a containment valve.

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Online: http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/site/2931/

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AP Radio correspondent Shelly Adler and Associated Press writer Ivan Moreno contributed to this report.