Atlantic Coast Now Under Threat As Current Spreads Gulf Oil Slick

There was mounting evidence tonight that the scale of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has grown beyond all the initial worst-case scenarios, as thousands of gallons of oil continued to gush from the sea floor.In Key West, coastguard officials said about three tar balls an hour were washing up on the beaches at a state park at the southernmost point of the Florida Keys.Such evidence suggests the damage wreaked by the spill – which began with an explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon rig on 20 April – could now grow larger, with crude oil caught up in the powerful loop current that travels a much wider course through the Gulf and up the Atlantic coast. In response to the tar sightings, Washington doubled the no-fishing zone to 19% of the waters in the Gulf.