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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP finally gained control over one of America's biggest environmental catastrophes by placing a carefully fitted cap over a runaway geyser that has been gushing crude into the Gulf of Mexico since early spring, though no one was declaring victory just yet.
Engineers, politicians and Gulf residents will watch anxiously over the next day and a half to see if the cap holds. As of Friday morning, no oil could be seen spewing into the Gulf via underwater camera feeds on BP's website — as it had for nearly three months, spilling up to 184 million gallons.
The accomplishment was greeted with hope, high expectations — and, in many cases along the beleaguered coastline, disbelief. But BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles urged caution and warned the flow could resume.
"It's far from the finish line. ... It's not the time to celebrate," Suttles said.
Regardless, for the first time since an explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 workers April 20 and unleashed the spill 5,000 feet beneath the water's surface, no oil was flowing into the Gulf.
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