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Deep-sea ice crystals stymie Gulf oil leak fix

ON THE GULF OF MEXICO— Icelike crystals encrusting a 100-ton steel-and-concrete box meant to contain oil gushing from a broken well deep in the Gulf of Mexico forced crews Saturday to back off the long-shot plan, while more than 100 miles away, blobs of tar washed up at an Alabama beach full of swimmers.
The failure in the first attempt to use the specially constructed containment box over the leak 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, coupled with the ominous arrival of the sticky substance at Dauphin Island, Alabama, crushed hopes of a short-term solution to what could yet grow into the worst oil spill in the nation's history.
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