November 11, 2010 |
The following is an excerpt from Bob Cavnar's new book, Disaster on the Horizon: High Stakes, High Risks, and the Story Behind the Deepwater Well Blowout (Chelsea Green, 2010)Doug Brown found himself lying on his back--sprawled out on top of a metal deck panel on which, moments before, he had been standing, in the engine control room (ECR) of the Deepwater Horizon offshore rig. It was 9:50 p.m. and Doug, the offshore rig's chief mechanic, hearing an engine overspeeding, had just stood up from his computer to investigate when an explosion racked the otherwise normal night--the force of the blast hitting him from behind and knocking him face-first into the engine console. He bounced off the console and onto a deck panel covering a mass of electrical cables, but the panel collapsed and Brown fell through, ceiling insulation falling in on top of him. Looking out from his hole in the floor, he tried to orient himself. The room was dark and the hiss of escaping gas was deafening. Just as he tried to pull himself up and out, he was hammered with a second explosion--this one massive, driving him back down into the hole.
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