It's the news Gulf Coast residents have been waiting to hear. Finally, after five long months, U.S. officials pronounced the ruptured BP oil well dead early Sunday morning.
In a statement issued, former Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said: 'With this development, which has been confirmed by the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, we can finally announce that the Macondo 252 well is effectively dead.'
The announcement came after pressure tests conducted by well owner BP proved successful. This included exerting almost seven tonnes of weight against the cement plug to ensure that it stayed in place. The well was pronounced dead at 6.54 a.m. ET by the Interior Department agency that's responsible for regulating offshore drilling.
The oil rig exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers. Sealing the well is an important step for Gulf Coast residents, but the disaster is far from over. Although the seafood is safe, fishermen are struggling to sell their catch because consumers are fearful it's toxic.
Many people are also afraid that BP will finish the task, and then leave without paying their debts, “I'm scared that BP is going to pull out and leave us hanging with nothing,” said Lindsay, a Gulf Coast resident.
Almost 780 million litres was spewed into the Gulf, until the gusher was stopped with a temporary cap in mid-July. The cap was later removed, allowing mud and cement to be pumped through the top of the well, helping to seal it.
With files from The Associated Press and CNN