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David Hammer / Eyewitness News
Email: dhammer@wwltv.com | Twitter: @davidhammerWWL

NEWORLEANS-- Walter Oil & Gas began drilling a relief well to permanently close in a blown-out natural gas well off of Grand Isle.

The well being drilled by Hercules Offshore blew out and caught fire July 23. The natural gas flow and fire stopped on July 25 when sands from the relief well 'bridged' the hole.

The relief well is expected to take 35 days to drill, according to a federal offshore safety agency. Crews began removing debris Friday.

When the relief well is finished, crews will pump heavy drilling mud and cement in to block any gas flow.

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