Erik Larson

May 3, 2010

BP Mystery

The BP oil spill mystery: why did the blowout preventer fail? No one seems to know. BP experts inform us that there are multiple safety mechanism in place, and they all failed . Huh? I’m certainly not qualified to comment on the technical merits of oil rig safety devices, but the case is interesting because of its complexity and because of the unlikelihood of multiple safety procedures collectively failing. This is the sort of complex, high energy accident I was talking abou in Systems Accidents . I’ll be following this story to see how it unfolds. For starters here’s a good discussion in a blog .