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Oil and natural gas from the ruptured well is seen Tuesday near a Louisiana marsh area.
20-foot-high plume seen; tug boat hit well before dawn, officials say

Adding insult to the Gulf's injury, a wellhead hit by a tug boat is now spewing oil near a Louisiana marsh area, officials said Tuesday.

The oil is shooting up 20 feet into the air, the office of Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser said.

"We cannot catch a break," Deano Bonano, Jefferson Parish emergency management director, said in a note to parish officials.

The well is in inland waterways on the border of Plaquemines and Jefferson parishes, about 65 miles south of New Orleans; it's marsh area not accessible by road.

Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts was quoted as saying by WWL-TV in New Orleans that "there is a pretty good amount of oil flowing there." He did not have a more specific estimate.

Jefferson Parish officials said emergency crews were at the site assessing how to deal with the spill.

They added that the tug boat hit the well before dawn. The tug boat captain immediately notified officials, and another boat later called in the leak.

Officials fear the well is also leaking natural gas since boats reported seeing a gas cloud near the wellhead.

It was not immediately clear who is in charge of operating the well.