Mystery lingers around cause of California oil pipeline leak

California Oil Spill

Workers in protective suits clean the contaminated beach after an oil spill, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021 in Newport Beach, Calif. A major oil spill off the coast of Southern California fouled popular beaches and killed wildlife while crews scrambled Sunday, to contain the crude before it spread further into protected wetlands. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — What caused a 13-inch crack in an oil pipeline off the Southern California coast that fouled famed surfing beaches? For now, that question continues to elude investigators.

Two Coast Guard videos of the damaged pipeline that spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Pacific reveal a thin crack and what appears to be a trench leading to a bow in the submerged line.

Authorities say a ship’s anchor might have dragged the pipeline, causing the leak.

But pipeline experts offered varied opinions of the significance of the brief, grainy videos.

The cause of the spill is under investigation by numerous agencies.

Categories: National News