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Dome fails to stop Louisiana oil leak

BP engineers were yesterday desperately exploring options to control oil gushing from a ruptured Gulf of Mexico well after a setback with a huge containment dome fueled fears of a prolonged environmental disaster.

BP was considering its options after a buildup of crystallised gas in the dome forced engineers to suspend efforts to place the chamber over the rupture, the company's best short-term solution to the spill.

At least 5,000 barrels of oil a day are gushing into the Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on 20 April, killing 11 crew members and rupturing the well.