41 flee homes due to oil spill

AU Practice Assignment

By Konstantin Vengerowsky

Fairfax County, Va.- Officials have declared a state of emergency after 350,000 gallons of fuel spewed from a ruptured underground pipeline Tuesday. The oil flowed into a field behind Reston Hospital and gushed through Sugarland Run Creek, near Reston, Va. The creek feeds into the Potomac River.

There was no official evacuation, but 41 people living along Sugarland Run left their homes due to health concerns that have come out of the spill, officials said. The fumes could be dangerous to children and pregnant women. Officials are advising residents not to boat, fish or jog near the river.

Jane Doe, a local resident, said that she noticed the smell early Wednesday morning.

[Audio http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9452289/KVengerowsky1.mp3%5D

Dennis Reed, Chief Animal Warden for Fairfax County said that nine animals died due to the oil spill, including a 60-pound beaver. They have rescued 44 injured animals so far, including beavers, ducks, geese, otters and turtles from the creek.

[Audio http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9452289/KVengerowsky2.mp3%5D

Fairfax Water Authority has shut down water supply intake valves near the site where the creek empties into the Potomac. Therefore tap water has not been tainted, officials said. Residents may notice a drop in water pressure and are asked to reduce water use until the plant reopens.

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