HOUSTON, June 23 An undersea accident forced BP
Plc (BP.L) (BP.N) to shut down a key system collecting oil from
its blown-out Macondo well early on Wednesday, unleashing a
torrent of oil, the top U.S. oil spill official said.
A containment cap that had been channeling over 16,000
barrels per day to a surface vessel was removed after an
undersea robot apparently collided with it, Coast Guard Admiral
Thad Allen said at a news briefing in Washington.
The system could restart later on Wednesday, Allen said.
Allen also reported two deaths of workers helping with the
oil spill response. The deaths did not appear work-related but
were under investigation, he said.
A team of U.S. scientists estimates the leak is spewing up
to 60,000 barrels a day.
(Reporting by Kristen Hays, Editing by Doina Chiacu)