6 August 2010
Engineers have begun the final stages of plugging the well in the Gulf of Mexico that caused the world's worst accidental oil spill.
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The operation called Static Kill is well underway and so far the results look promising. The process involves pumping mud and cement into the well to push the oil back underground. It's similar to the procedure that failed in May - but then the oil was still gushing freely. This time a cap is in place and still holding after two weeks.
If Static Kill is successful, the well will be sealed with concrete on top and below the surface, using the relief wells that have taken several months to drill. But even when the leak is fully stopped, the effects of the BP oil spill are likely to continue indefinitely.
The local economy has been crippled and some parents are reporting sickness and behaviour problems in children exposed to the spill and affected by the stress it's caused. A series of public meetings start Wednesday aimed at addressing the many concerns of businesses and residents.
Jane O'Brien, BBC News, Washington
Click to hear the vocabulary:
activity which aims to fix or complete something, in this case the oil leak
- well underway
showing signs of success
a way or process for doing something
- still holding
continuing to work
building material made from cement, sand, stones and water
suffered major damage
how a person acts
dealing with a question or problem