June 21, 2010
The Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded causing the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, had suffered a leak in the weeks leading up to the blast, an employee has claimed.
Tyrone Benton told the BBC that he identified a leak in the rig’s safety equipment weeks before the explosion.
He claimed that the leak was not fixed at the time. Instead, the faulty device was shut down, forcing the rig to rely on a second one.
“We saw a leak on the pod, so by seeing the leak we informed the company men,” Mr Benton said. “They have a control room where they could turn off that pod and turn on the other one, so that they don’t have to stop production.”
The pods control the blowout preventer, the most important piece of safety equipment on the rig, and contain both electronics and hydraulics. This is where Mr Benton said the problem was found.