The long sleep 5

Don’t disturb the workers’ sleep by letting an alarm warn them when they’re in danger of being incinerated and their shelter is about to be blown to bits.

That was what BP’s leaders ordered on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

So the alarm was disabled, and had been for a year before the explosion came that burnt up eleven men, wrecked the rig, and polluted the Gulf of Mexico and its shores with an oil spill that deprived thousands of people of their livelihoods.

Highly considerate idiots, those BP guys.

The Washington Post reports:

Long before an eruption of gas turned the Deepwater Horizon oil rig into a fireball, an alarm system designed to alert the crew and prevent combustible gases from reaching potential sources of ignition had been deliberately disabled, the former chief electronics technician on the rig testified Friday.

Michael Williams, an ex-Marine who survived the April 20 conflagration by jumping from the burning rig, told a federal panel probing the disaster that … the rig had been operating with the gas alarm system in “inhibited” mode for a year to prevent false alarms from disturbing the crew.

He said the explanation he got was that the leadership of the rig did not want crew members needlessly awakened in the middle of the night. …

Read it all, and weep.

Posted under Commentary, News by Jillian Becker on Friday, July 23, 2010

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