ON THE GULF OF MEXICO (AP) — A federal agency has announced plans for a panel investigation aimed at finding out what caused last week's gas well blowout off the Louisiana coast.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said it will work closely with the Coast Guard to determine the cause, and ways to prevent such accidents.

Forty-four workers safely evacuated the rig when it blew wild. It later caught fire before sand and sediment plugged the gas flow. Wild well control contractors are working on a plan to permanently seal the well.

Meanwhile, scientists from several universities will analyze water samples taken over the weekend to determine the extent of any pollution caused by the blowout.

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