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Report: Oil spill culprit for heavy toll on coral

Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – After months of laboratory work, scientists say they can definitively finger oil from BP’s blown-out well as the culprit for widespread damage and the slow death of a deep-sea coral community in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a study published Monday, scientists say meticulous chemical analysis of samples taken in late 2010 proves that oil from BP PLC’s out-of-control Macondo well devastated corals living about 7 miles southwest of the well.

The damaged corals were discovered in October 2010 by academic and government scientists, but it’s taken until now for them to declare a definite link to the oil spill.

So far, this has been the only deep-sea coral site found to be seriously damaged by the spill.

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