July 27: Oil and natural gas are seen shooting into the Gulf of Mexico from a damaged well near Bayou St. Dennis, La.
URGENT: Fox News is being told by the Homeland Security director for Jefferson Parish, La., that a new oil leak has sprung up in the Gulf of Mexico after a boat struck an oil well in the early morning hours on Tuesday.
A tugboat or other workboat collided with the well near Bayou St. Dennis, La., shearing off its valve structure and releasing pressurized natural gas and light oil, DHS official Deano Bonano told Fox News.
Cleanup workers are currently booming off the area and the scene at sea has been taken over by federal agents. The U.S. Coast Guard, Jefferson Parish police and fire officials, as well as Vessels of Opportunity boats have all been dispatched to the scene.
Federal officials do not know who owns the well, but a contractor who handles wild wells is also on the way, Bonano said.
Oil is spewing about 20 feet in the air from the severed 4-inch pipe, a contractor who flew over the leak told Fox News. The area has been evacuated and civilian boats are being told not to enter the scene, where "a fair bit of oil" is leaking out, the contractor said.