Efforts to permanently plug BP's ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico have suffered a setback, as crews were forced to evacuate the area under threat from approaching Tropical Storm Bonnie.
The head of the U.S. government's response team, retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, said ships and rigs were moving out "of harm's way." Among the vessels being moved was a drill rig that was working on a relief well, considered to be the permanent solution to sealing the broken well.
Allen told reporters Friday that the effects of the storm could start being felt in the Gulf on Saturday. He said officials are confident that there is enough well integrity to allow the cap on the well to remain in place after the vessels depart while the storm passes.
The U.S. National Weather Service says Tropical Storm Bonnie, with winds of up to 65 kilometers per hour, is expected to move over southern Florida Friday and then head to the Gulf.