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Problem found with blowout preventer before Deepwater Horizon explosion

In a new development in the Gulf of Mexico, a Deepwater Horizon oil worker has told the BBC that a leak was identified in the oil rig’s safety gear a few weeks before the explosion that killed eleven workers.

It is alleged that the leak was not repaired at the time and a backup device was used instead. When the rig exploded on the 20th of April, the blowout preventer failed causing the huge oil spill.

The rig worker Tyrone Benton has stated that a problem found was with the blowout preventer control pod that is the brains behind shutting down the well in the event of an emergency.

It is alleged that Mr Benton’s supervisor emailed BP and Transocean detailing the problems when they were initially discovered.

To repair the pod would have meant stopping drilling and hence cost BP a huge amount of money. And in response, Henry Waxman, who is observing congressional examinations into the catastrophe has accused BP of taking shortcuts to save cash.

Waxman said "BP appears to have made multiple decisions for economic reasons that increased the danger of a catastrophic well failure".

The US has identified various issues with the preventer including design issues, modifications and flat batteries.

In response, BP has stated that Transocean was responsible for the maintenance activities on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

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