Friday, June 25, 2010

Boat Captain Commits Suicide over BP Oil Spill, Media Says

From the L.A. Times:
    William Allen Kruse, 55, a charter boat captain recently hired by BP as a vessel of opportunity out of Gulf Shores, Ala., died Wednesday morning before 7:30 a.m. of a gunshot to the head, likely self-inflicted, authorities said.

    "He had been quite despondent about the oil crisis," said Stan Vinson, coroner for Baldwin County, which includes Gulf Shores.
Additional reports say that BP has promised to pay for Kruse's funeral.

The CBS video report says calls to suicide lines in Louisiana have jumped from 400 before the Gulf of Mexico crisis to 2,400 two months later, and its written story, creates a dismal scene of psychic decay related to the oil spill as some of the people affected have gone from nearly recovering from Hurricane Katrina to loss of income due to the oil leak:
    "We're seeing already an increase in suspiciousness, arguing, domestic violence. . . . We're already having reports of increased drinking, anxiety, anger and avoidance," Howard J. Osofsky of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans said during a two-day hearing this week on the physical and emotional impact of the spill.
One social worker in the article compares the oil spill's toll on Gulf Coast residents to that of disease and says it's affecting people like "cancer or tumor." Similar issues arose during the Exxon Valdez crisis.

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