Some fuel may have leaked from drill rig lifeboats

Officials: some diesel may have leaked from drill rig lifeboats in Alaska grounding

Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Officials say it's possible that as much as 270 gallons of diesel fuel may have been released from tanks on four lifeboats dislodged while a damaged floating drill rig was grounded on a remote Alaska island.

A Wednesday night update issued on behalf of state, private and federal officials handling the Kulluk case said each lifeboat had a 68-gallon fuel tank. Two tanks are reportedly damaged, one is inaccessible and one appears to be intact.

Officials say there's still no sign of any fuel leaks from the rig itself.

The Royal Dutch Shell PLC vessel was lifted off rocks late Sunday and towed away from Sitkalidak Island, where it grounded on New Year's Eve while being towed to Seattle. It has been towed to a sheltered bay on Kodiak Island.

Crews hope to recover the lifeboats, a dislodged rescue boat and other debris from the small island in the next few days.

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