Crew members aboard dozens of ships in the Gulf of Mexico are preparing to evacuate as a tropical rainstorm brewing in the Caribbean brings the deep-sea effort to plug BP’s ruptured oil well to a near standstill.
Though the rough weather is hundreds of miles from the spill site and won’t enter the Gulf for at least a few more days, officials have ordered technicians trying to plug BP’s well to stand down because they needed several days to clear the area.
Just days before the expected completion of a relief well designed to permanently throttle the oil, the government’s spill chief said Wednesday that work was suspended.
Worse yet, retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen says foul weather could require reopening the cap that’s contained the oil for nearly a week.
Report: Deepwater Horizon workers had safety concerns
A published report says Deepwater Horizon rig workers were concerned about safety and the condition of some equipment on board.
The New York Times cites a confidential survey done before the April 20 explosion.
A spokesman for Transocean, the owner of the rig leased by BP, confirmed the existence of the reports to The Associated Press.
The Times reports that another report to Transocean by Lloyd’s Register Group found that several pieces of equipment — including rams in the failed blowout preventer — had not been inspected since 2000.
Guidelines call for inspection every three to five years. Transocean says most of the equipment trouble was minor and the blowout preventer was inspected according to manufacturer guidelines.