Transocean Electrician: Deepwater Fire Alarm Was Disabled
Ever since the April 20 Transocean and BP oil spill in the Gulf, which killed 11 men and started the worst oil disaster in U.S. history, people have been asking questions. How could this have happened? Who is at fault? What went wrong? As many suspected, the answers to these questions are slowly emerging, and they don't look good for those involved.
To avoid crew being woken up in the middle of the night by false alarms, fire and gas leak alarm systems were allegedly disabled, according to Mike Williams, chief engineer tech who worked aboard the Deepwater Horizon.
"I discovered it was 'inhibited' about a year ago," said Williams. "The explanation I got was that from the [offshore installation manager] down, they did not want people to wake up at 3 a.m. due to false alarm." Williams said, reported by the LA Times.
Mike Williams said he was greatly disturbed by the lack of functional Deepwater fire alarm systems and complained on multiple occasions, to no avail. Williams believes the alarm systems could have alerted the crew of the impending disaster and might have allowed enough time to shut down the engine in time to avert the explosion.
In addition, the New York Times is reporting that a confidential survey of workers on the Deepwater Horizon showed there were serious concerns about safety and a fear of being fired if they reported mistakes or other problems.
There will be much more on this to come. Between the congressional inquiries and lawsuits, chances are good that we will have flying cars or teleportation before this case is resolved.
- Learn About the Law: What is Negligence? (FindLaw's Learn About the Law)
- BP Gulf Oil Spill Info Center (FindLaw)
- Maritime Injuries: The Jones Act (provided by Beard, Stacey & Jacobsen, L.L.P.)
- OSHA and Employee Workplace Rights (provided by Ellis Law, P.C.)
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