The "top kill" operation is on hold, and oil is still gushing from the floor of the Gulf. BP says it hopes to try again later tonight. News of the suspension, first reported by the New York Times in the late afternoon, came as something of a surprise after a day of generally positive reports about the operation in the Gulf. In fact, the company had halted the "top kill" about midnight Wednesday after twice pumping dense mud into the well.
A spokesman said engineers paused to assess the plumes, and company officials believed they made some progress, reports the Washington Post. "I think some people believe it has. Some people believe it's less obvious it has. What we do believe we've done is successfully pumped some mud, some of this drilling mud, into this wellbore," he said. "What we do know is that we have not yet stopped the flow." (Read more Gulf oil spill stories.)