June 8th, 2010
05:04 PM ET
5 years ago

Rig's crew may have been shorthanded, overworked, lawmaker says

(CNN) - The crew of the drill rig Deepwater Horizon may have been overworked and short of key personnel before the explosion that unleashed the worst oil spill in U.S. history, a leading Democratic congressman suggested Tuesday.

Payroll records show that seven of the 11 men who died on the rig had worked a 24-hour shift six days before the explosion, Rep. Nick Rahall wrote in a letter to rig owner Transocean Ltd. Records from the rig showed "zero engineers, electricians, mechanics or subsea supervisors" on duty the night of the April 20 explosion, he wrote.

Rahall, D-West Virginia, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, called on Transocean to give the committee more detailed logs and a further explanation of its staffing. There was no immediate response from the company to the letter.

Transocean, well owner BP and oilfield services contractor Halliburton have blamed each other for the disaster that followed the explosion. The undersea well the rig was drilling has been gushing up to 19,000 barrels (798,000 gallons) of crude a day into the Gulf of Mexico since late April.


Filed under: Congress • Energy
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. BeverlyNC

    Of course this was the situation. BP has always been known for cutting corners and patterns of safety violations, spills, and worker deaths.
    BP has destroyed our Gulf and Republicans helped them do it. It goes al the way back to Cheney who appointed oil people to run MMS – therefore allowing NO regulation or safety requirements on the oil companies.
    Is there any disaster this year that was not Republican-caused because of their disregard for our country and our People and total devotion to large corporations who pay them huge bribes???
    It's time to stop ALL oil drilling because it will never be safe and we need to move off of oil NOW. We need the Clean Energy Act so we can put oil workers into clean energy jobs that are not going to kill them or destroy our environment.
    It's also time to get rid of corrupt Republicans who have betrayed us for greed. Remember the spill and all the Republicans who are big oil supporters – still trying to keep BP from having to pay for the cleanup – and vote these traitors out of office. They are NO friend of Americans or our environment.

    June 8, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. Red by Choice

    Any crew that works more than 4 hours and doesn't have 3 guys watching one guy work looks like "overworking" to congress and to the unions. They wouldn't know a fair day's work for a fair day's pay if it nibbled them on the bum.

    June 8, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  3. normajean

    Listening to the men who survived the explosion in the Gulf, has given the public solid information that there were more than technical problems on that rig before it blew. If the truth ever comes to light , I will bet that the bottom line is incompetence,carelessness and trying to save money by cutting corners without concern for possible tragic results.We all have heard that management was conflicting about who was in charge. Looks like nobody was.

    June 8, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  4. Frank in valparaiso indiana

    Sooo management fouled this one up. And all these people want nuclear plants to come on line? Part of management of these energy companies is cutting corners to save a few bucks. Either regulate the hell out of them so they have the required operators with the training and expertise, or shut them down.

    We need a lot more tougher regulations. This self regulating is not working. In some fields, yeah let them do it. When they screw up, or the disaster is national in scope, regulate the heck out of them.

    But the GOP will scream in congress. We'll have to see what happens now.

    June 8, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. Hows that oil slick coming along Rush?

    Sounds about right,the cheap scumbags make their money off slave labor.In the mean time Rush gets married to try and prove he isnt a cathlic priest gone wrong.

    June 8, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  6. Pkm

    Fine bp one billion dollars a day that will stop the leak

    June 8, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    You can find this in every corporation in the country the executives continue to cut jobs to save their bonuses.
    People are asked to do the jobs that six people used to do, work long hours, come to work an hour early work through lunch and stay two hours late every day and then come in or work from home all the time. All for 40 hours pay and to be happy they have a job at all. The American worker is between a rock and a hard place. The demands of these corporations to improve the stock holders shares is nothing short of extortion in a employment situation of over 20% under employed. A person has no choice but to suck it up and take it. This has been an ongoing problem since this recession began in 1973.

    June 8, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. Victim of GOP Taliban

    The big union's and Obama's fault. Oh wait. BP is not the governmet, they just "donate" $ to 1/2 of the Gulf states fed judges.

    June 8, 2010 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    Corporations have run this country for years, and the republican owned supreme court made it legal this year. Corporations have always short-changed the little people that work for them, but they sure sweeten the pockets of our politicians and their CEOs.

    June 8, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  10. JES

    Jut lke the DEM's playing the blame game instead of trying to get the leak fixed.

    First things first get th leak fixed, clean up cmpleted, and then start trying to find who is to balme besides Obama since the buck stops with him

    How long did it take to get his attention yea when his and his party rating started going down.

    We do not have any leadership in the White House, Senate, or Congress.

    June 8, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  11. Steve- Illinois

    If only the Federal Government employees charged with enforcing the regulations had done their jobs, these workers would probably be alive today! Is A.G. Holder planning on investigating them?

    June 8, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  12. Ann

    Here's a way to clean up this mess:

    Involve all oil companies, and let the winner keep all the oil!

    June 8, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  13. Pragmatic

    With all the errors, mistakes made by BP, lax regulations ... just listen to the Gulf Coast governor demanding the more, more, more deep offshore drilling be allowed ... drill, baby, drill – when they don't know what caused this explosion, how to stop it, what the damages will be or anything else!!

    June 8, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  14. jeff

    Just wondering when Barrack will actually be the President as they just keep saying it is all Bush's fault. At some point will he be the man is it 2011 or 2012 even McDonalds has a probation period and at some point doesnt he own the problem.

    June 8, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  15. karen mendoza

    Is anybody trying the obvious answer to renewable fuel-stool fuel-sewage treatment plants making stool fuel. Do we not hear of this because there may not be money in it for any providers to get rich? Why do we have to waste all this "waste"? It's really only "waste" because it's being wasted.

    June 8, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  16. overworked and short of key personnel

    remember safety is BP's top priority, now watch them bob and weave throught the legal system like Ali the boxer

    BP you need to be sued from top to bottom, all personnel

    June 8, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |