At last, the smoking gun

It had long been rumoured it was company policy on all the US Transocean rigs to switch off vital warning systems to let off-duty workers sleep.

Mike Williams, the chief technician in charge of the Deepwater rig’s electronic systems, has now confirmed these suspicions in evidence to a federal investigation.

He admitted that the crucial safety device designed to shut down the drill shack when dangerous gas levels were detected had been disabled at the time of the explosion.

The rig’s unreliable computer system had also failed to indicate that a vital valve inside the blowout preventer (designed to shut down the well) had been damaged.

This is evidence Obama and the Congress had been dreading because it switches the blame away from BP to routinely lax American supervision and drilling procedures.

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