Pipeline bursts, spills oil into ocean off California coast

An oil spill was reported at Refugio State Beach, about 20 miles west of Santa Barbara, Tuesday, May 19, 2015.

Officials say a broken pipeline has spilled oil and created a slick about four miles (6.4 kilometers) wide in the ocean off the central California coast.

Capt. Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department says a pipeline on the land near Refugio State Beach broke Tuesday and spilled oil into a culvert that ran under the U.S. 101 freeway and into the ocean. The pipeline has been shut off, but it's not yet clear how much oil spilled.

Zaniboni says the initial slick was about 100 yards (90 meters) by a half-mile (800 meters), but the U.S. Coast Guard says it has since spread to about four miles (6.4 kilomeeters) of coastline.

Zaniboni says firefighters responding to reports of the smell of gas on the beach found the thick, black slick and traced it to the pipeline.
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