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Engineer accuses BP of ignoring damaged oil well safety gear

Engineer accuses BP of ignoring damaged oil well safety gear 18 May 2010 The critical piece of safety equipment that failed to shut down the oil well after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded last month was damaged before the accident, it emerged yesterday. According to a survivor’s account that could prove devastating to BP as it struggles to stop millions of gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, the safety device -- known as a blowout preventer -- was punctured in the weeks before the blast but nothing was done to fix it. Mike Williams, the rig’s chief electronics technician, also said that in the lead-up to the disaster BP officials, concerned that the project was behind schedule and costing the company $1 million (£680,000) a day, ordered a faster pace of drilling.