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A temporary no-fly zone has been put in place over a ruptured pipeline that spilled thousands of gallons of oil in Mayflower.

Lynn Lunsford, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said in an e-mail the restriction prohibits flight below 1,000 feet within a 5-nautical-mile radius over Mayflower.

Lunsford said the restriction was requested by local disaster response officials.

"They are using at least one helicopter to provide aerial support for the cleanup," he wrote. "For safety reasons, they asked us to protect the airspace 1,000 feet above the area to allow the aircraft to move as needed."

According to an FAA website, the restriction went into effect Monday and will remain in place "until further notice."

The FAA site noted earlier Wednesday that "only relief aircraft operations under direction of Tom Suhrhoff" are allowed in the zone. Lunsford said later Wednesday that officials were amending the restriction to also allow news media aircraft.

Suhrhoff is listed on a LinkedIn profile as an aviation advisor for ExxonMobil. A message left with a media line for the oil company wasn't immediately returned.

The pipeline ruptured Friday afternoon, spilling several thousand barrels worth of oil into a Mayflower subdivision and then into an adjacent drainage system.

Local responders say they were able to block it from reaching Lake Conway, which sits about a mile from the rupture site. A large-scale cleanup effort is continuing.

Gallery: Mayflower Oil Spill
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Archived Comments

  • HM2
    April 3, 2013 at 8:27 p.m.

    The question is, what is the goverment aka E.P.A. trying to hide. they have been trying to sabotage the XL pipeline from the begining, and this thing was just created to stir up opposition to the completion of the pipeline.

  • FreeSpiritMan
    April 4, 2013 at 1:44 a.m.

    HM2 ...... Did you get permission from Glen Beck to start this right wing nut conspiricy theorie. He is going to jump all over you for trying to steel his thunder.

  • carrollallison
    April 4, 2013 at 5:37 a.m.

    Again everyone. This flight restriction "TFR" is just up to 1000 ft. above ground level. You can go to 1001 ft and fly over all you want to.

  • RaylanGivens
    April 4, 2013 at 7:51 a.m.

    HM2 I wouldn't worry about Glenn Beck STEELING from you, but I'm pretty sure BillSmith opposes the Big River STEAL plant.

  • Coralie
    April 4, 2013 at 3:34 p.m.

    We're not getting the full story. BTW, the XL is ten times bigger than the pipelilne at Mayflower.
    readersupportednews. org/news-section2/312-16/16786-toxic-and-tax-exempt-we-pay-the-bill-for-tar-sands-cleanup

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