Investigators seeking the cause of the massive California oil spill said Sunday that the pipeline at the center of the leak may have been dragged along the ocean floor by a 1,200-foot cargo ship months before, AP reports.
Driving the news: The Panama-registered MSC DANIT may have struck the pipeline with its anchor when it arrived at the Port of Long Beach during a severe storm in January, breaking the pipe's inch-thick concrete casing and dragging it more than 100 feet, per AP.
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Why it matters: It's not yet clear whether the incident caused this month's oil spill, or whether another object later also collided with the pipe, or if the pipe had a pre-existing problem, Coast Guard Lt. j.g. SondraKay Kneen said Sunday, per AP.
“We’re still looking at multiple vessels and scenarios,” she added.
The big picture: Earlier this month, Coast Guard officials said that the Amplify Energy pipeline had a gash in it over a foot wide and that it had been dragged more than 100 feet.
The pipeline leak caused nearly 25,000 gallons of crude oil to spill into the ocean.
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