Electronics expert Michael Williams testified in federal hearings that emergency alarms on board the Deepwater Horizon were disabled weeks before it exploded, killing 11 workers and spewing more than 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, is the most damning evidence yet of shoddy maintenance and compromised safety systems on board the oil rig.
Hearings conducted by a federal panel of investigators from the US Coast Guard and the department of the interior have already uncovered several incidents of apparent safety irregularities that leave both BP, the oil giant that was working the Macondo well, and Transocean, the owner of the oil rig that was operating under contract to BP, with big questions to answer.
Williams, a former Marine, managed to survive the explosion on 20 April by jumping from the burning rig. His evidence before the federal panel in Kenner, on the outskirts of New Orleans, suggested a litany of problems, from alarm systems that had been switched off to software that was so faulty the rig’s computer systems – critical for the monitoring of key safety equipment – regularly crashed.
Read more: theguardian.com.