Deadly distraction: BP officials admit effort to shut Gulf of Mexico oil well was delayed

WHO: BP

WHAT: Workers on the doomed Gulf of Mexico oil rig were distracted by multiple activities going on simultaneously and didn’t try to shut the well until 49 minutes after potentially explosive gas particles began flowing in, a BP vice president told a federal investigative panel Wednesday.

WHY: Steve Robinson, who led the team that questioned the well site leaders as part of BP’s internal probe, said that by the time the crew reacted, the hydrocarbons were already in the riser. He said they couldn’t be contained, only diverted. An explosion occurred just minutes later, killing 11 workers and leading to more than 200 million gallons of oil spewing from BP’s well a mile beneath the sea, according to government estimates.

BPDaily OutrageOpinionOther Opinion

Just Posted

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler, pictured in July at Oracle Park, says team members simultaneously can be “measured and calm” and “looking to push the accelerator.” (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
How Gabe Kapler sets the tone for Giants’ success with strategy, mindset

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the hands-down manager of the year’

Artist Agnieszka Pilat, pictured with Spot the Robot Dog from Boston Robotics, has a gallery show opening at Modernism. (Courtesy Agnieszka Pilat)
Screenshots of VCs, Kanye and tech parties by the Bay

In this week’s roundup, Ben Horowitz’s surprising hip-hop knowledge and the chic tech crowd at Shack15

If he secured a full term in the Senate, Newsom would become the most powerful Californian Democrat since Phil Burton at the height of his career, or maybe ever. <ins>(Kevin Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Firefighters extinguish burning material near Lake Tahoe on Sept. 3 in the wake of the Caldor Fire; environmental scientists say the huge fire is bringing to light deficiencies in forest management. <ins>(Max Whittaker/New York Times)</ins>
Cal Fire, timber industry must face an inconvenient truth

We are logging further into the wildfire and climate crisis

Speaker of the Parliament of Mongolia Gombojav Zandanshatar said his country and San Francisco face similar challenges on issues including COVID recovery and climate change.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Mongolian leaders meet with tech, film leaders on city tour

‘I really want San Franciscans to meet the new Mongolian generation’

Most Read