A rupture is a break or tear in something that pulls it apart. A rupture can be a literal break, like the one that happens in, say, a gas line, or it can be more figurative, as in a friendship or a business deal.
The oil spill was less of a spill than it was a rupture: the line leading to the well was severed, allowing the oil to flow into the ocean. Rupture works as both a noun and a verb. You can rupture the silence by screaming your head off, and any number of events in Star Trek can cause a rupture in the space-time continuum.