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A survey of the sea floor near BPs blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico has turned up dead and dying coral reefs that were probably damaged by the oil spill, scientists said on Friday.

The coral sites lie seven miles southwest of the well, at a depth of about 4,500 feet, in an area where large plumes of dispersed oil were discovered drifting through the deep ocean last spring in the early weeks after the spill.

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