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SEATTLE -- An estimated 55 gallon oil spill swept into a Ballard Neighborhood marina overnight or early Monday morning.

Several residents of the Ballard Mill Marina on Shilshole Avenue NE say they were awakened by the sickening smell of the oily mixture that Coast Guard investigators say is probably bilge water. Investigators are looking for witnesses who may help them track down the source of the spill which apparently occurred in the Lake Washington Ship Canal, but was pushed by winds and the current into the small marina.

Cleanup crews laid out a protective boom and tried to push the reddish sheen into corners of the marina where they could remove it with absorbent pads. By mid-day they had an impressive pile of oil pads and had much more work to do.

Residents said the powerful smell began to dissipate as the workers made progress, but it was so powerful in the early morning, it woke them up.

There does not appear to be any serious environmental damage from the spill.

Two separate oil spills bogged down holiday travel and left residents of a marina gasping for fresh air. KING environmental specialist Gary Chittim reports.

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