Deepwater Horizon’s Alarm System Was Broken When the Oil Rig Exploded

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Photo: U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images

The alarm in the Deepwater Horizon oil rig had been "inhibited" for nearly a year before the rig's April 20 explosion that killed eleven workers and sent crude oil gushing into the ocean, the rig's chief electronics technician said today. The busted alarm still alerted the platform's computer system when it sensed toxic gases or fires, but didn't alert anybody in any audible or visual way. The technician explained: "When I discovered about a year ago it was inhibited, I inquired as to why it was inhibited, and the explanation I got is that ... they did not want people woken up at 3 o'clock in the morning due to false alarms." [CNN]