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BP official: Effort to shut Gulf well was 'late'

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Posted: Dec 8, 2010 9:16 AM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: BP, Gulf of Mexico, oil, spill, well, shut, down, workers, investigation

HOUSTON - A BP vice president has told a federal investigative panel that workers on the doomed Gulf of Mexico oil rig were distracted by multiple activities going on simultaneously and didn't try to shut the well until 49 minutes after gas particles began flowing in.

Steve Robinson, who led the team that questioned the wellsite leaders as part of BP PLC's internal probe, said Wednesday at hearings in Houston that the actions were late.

He said that by the time the crew reacted, the hydrocarbons were already in the riser.

He says they couldn't be contained, only diverted.

An explosion occurred just minutes later, killing 11 workers and leading to more than 200 million gallons of oil spewing from BP's well a mile beneath the sea.

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