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U.S. House Committee reveals that warning signs occured before the Deepwater Horizon explosion
WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) – Chairmen of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Henry A. Waxman and Bart Stupak, sent a memo to Committee members to summarize the information that was presented by BP on the progress of its internal investigation on the causes of the Deepwater Horizon blowout and oil spill.
The information from BP identified several new warning signs of problems that occurred well before the explosion, as long as 51 minutes before the blast happened.
For example, there were three flow indicators. Out of the first one, about 51 minutes before the explosion, more fluid began to flow than was actually being pumped in.
About 10 minutes later, 41 minutes before the explosion, a second flow indicator was shut down for a "sheen test". Even though it was shut down, it continued to flow instead of stopping and drill pipe pressure also unexpectedly increased.
Then, 18 minutes before the explosion, abnormal pressure and mud returns were observed and the pump was abruptly shut down.
The data suggests that the crew may have attempted mechanical interventions at that point to control the pressure. But soon after, the flow out and pressure increased dramatically and the explosion took place.
BP also said that its preliminary findings indicate that there were other events in the 24 hours before the explosion that require further inquiry.
The April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig - off of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico - killed 11 people and injured 17 others. The platform later sank, causing one of the worst environmental disasters in modern history.
The drilling rig continues to spill thousands of barrels a day into the ocean.
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