Sunday’s “60 Minutes” program revealed a lot to me about the blowout on the Deepwater Horizon oil-drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

On the technical side, survivor Mike Williams describes a series of human errors in operation and judgment that may have caused the blowout. On the human side, Williams’ dramatic account of his narrow escape from death is riveting.

If you haven’t seen the program, I suggest you go to the website for “Blowout: The Deepwater Horizon Disaster” and play the video segments along the left side of the page. If you have seen the program, the “extras” may interest you. I know I was wondering what happened to the young woman who Williams told to jump from the rig as fire enveloped them. Her fate was not described on television, but her rescue is explained in the “extras.”

I would not be surprised if a movie producer is already scrambling for the right to tell Williams’ story, but that’s another matter.

The imbedded video here is Part 2, which begins with Williams’ escape from the oil rig, then launches into a discussion about the possible cause of the blowout. Reporter Scott Pelley’s explanation, with graphics, puts things in simple terms — including how the blowout preventer may have become damaged during operations, how backup control equipment went unrepaired, and how decisions about managing well pressure during shutdown may have led to the fiery gusher.

I have to remind myself that we have not seen a report of the investigation, though one is under way by the Coast Guard and Mineral Management Service. Over the weekend, President Obama apparently decided to create a commission to look into the incident as well, according to ABC News. and the Associated Press.

At this point, we don’t even have a complete response or description from BP managers who operated the drilling rig. So I will be cautious in drawing conclusions, but it is becoming clear that company personnel made not one but a series of fatal errors likely to be described in detail before this incident is put to rest.

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Source: Watching Our Water Ways

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