Oiled birds found near L.A. Harbor after fuel spill

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Fish and wildlife officials are working to help at least six birds that were contaminated with spilled oil that leaked into the Los Angeles Harbor.

The oil spill was first noticed Sunday night when the 577-foot cargo ship Istra Ace was found to be leaking heavy fuel off its starboard side into the Cerritos Channel, officials said.

U.S. Coast Guard investigators now say they think faulty piping on the Panamanian-registered ship was the cause of the leak. They have not yet determined how much fuel leaked into the water.

Officials said California Fish and Wildlife recovery teams have found at least six birds contaminated with oil and turned them over to the Oiled Wildlife Care Network for treatment. They asked members of the public who come across oiled wildlife to not try to capture the animal themselves, but to contact the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at (877)823-6926.

Subcontractors are using booms, sweepers and sorbent pads to help contain and remove the fuel, while the Los Angeles Police Department is assisting with helicopter flights to help determine the extent of the spill.

Officials said 18 response vessels have been assigned to help with cleanup and containment.

Boat traffic underneath the Commodore Schuyler F. Heim Bridge has been restricted during cleanup efforts, although automobile traffic over the span has not been affected.
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