“We can finally announce that the Macondo 252 well is effectively dead,” Admiral Thad Allen announced today, effectively ending a national nightmare that began almost exactly five months ago. Engineers from BP and the U.S. government spent Saturday testing the success of the “bottom kill” operation, which saw them inject cement into the bottom of the well. But after the devasatation the oil spill caused on the Gulf Coast, the news will be greeted with more relief than jubilation. "It's kind of bittersweet because we lost 11 men out here," said one engineer, referring to the 11 technicians who died when the rig exploded in April. "There isn't going to be any real celebration. To a lot of people, the water out here is a cemetery." Some 206 million gallons of oil are estimated to have gushed into the Gulf of Mexico until the flow was stopped in mid-July.
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