In a confidential survey administered weeks before the BP oil rig blew up, Deepwater Horizon workers expressed concern about "unsafe behaviors on the rig" and daily operations being carried out improperly, the Times reports. Workers noted that equipment was unreliable, "which they believed was as a result of drilling priorities taking precedence over planned maintenance." Many key pieces of the oil rig were also long overdue for inspection, and about half of Horizon's workers noted that they feared "reprisal" if they ever voiced their concerns about the rig's safety.
Meanwhile, officials at BP are optimistic that pumping mud into the spewing oil well and then capping it with cement could put this mess behind them "within a few weeks." However, a strengthening storm near the Bahamas is threatening to halt the mud-pumping plan for up to fourteen days.