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    Cameras allowed where Mayflower Exxon oil spill occurred

    9:42 PM, Apr 7, 2013   |    comments
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    Video: Officials allow cameras into Mayflower neighborhood

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    Mayflower, Ark. (KTHV) - For the first time since the Mayflower oil spill officials allowed the media to see where the rupture occurred.

    "I think they're making real good progress. We can actually stay out here without a gas mask," said Wayne Holcomb, a Mayflower homeowner.

    ExxonMobil officials said the pipeline leak originated from a homeowner's front yard in a cove just off Starlite Road South.

    "We have a couple of things going on right now. We have crews continuing to excavate contaminated soil in the area but in addition to that if you look behind them there seems to be another set of workers. You can see a piece of machinery (and)men back there as well. This way there's a similar crew doing work down there. What those two crews are doing is they're putting in facilities to literally suck the oil that's left in this section of pipeline out." said Karen Tyrone with ExxonMobil

    An ExxonMobil official said the pipeline sprang a leak just past an area marked by orange tape, but still are not saying what caused the rupture.

    Officials with ExxonMobil said the oil ran to the end of the cove and along Starlite Road South.

    They said another path ran behind a row of homes on the same street.

    On Sunday media crews witnessed workers extracting oil from dirt.  ExxonMobil officials said monitored samples revealed no oil in the yards of homes which sit on the east side of Starlite Road South.

    Some neighbors said they are pleased with the recovery efforts thus far.

    The EPA and ExxonMobil continue to take air samples as the monitors can be seen throughout the neighborhood.

    No word yet on when the 22 displaced homeowners will be allowed back into their homes.  ExxonMobil official said the official green light will come from the Arkansas Department of Health.

    Trucks carrying dirt to replenish yards could be seen on Sunday driving into the neighborhood.  Weather permitting, ExxonMobil officials said during the coming week they will continue to work on replenishing dirt in the yards of homeowners.

    They said the Department of Transportation will lead the investigation into what caused the rupture.

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