May 14, 2010 / 2:27 PM / 10 years ago

US Coast Guard treating oil spill as "catastrophic"

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. , May 14 (Reuters) - The spreading oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico has the potential to be “catastrophic”, and the U.S. response is already treating it as such, Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen said on Friday.

“It has the potential to be catastrophic ... I am going to act as if it is,” Allen told reporters in a briefing.

Allen said the slick was “not monolithic” in terms of its threat to the coast, adding that it had broken up into segments.

“We’re attacking this as if it were a much larger spill anyway,” he added. (Reporting by Kelli Dugan)

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