"Critical Alarm System" Turned Off Before Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil ExplosionS

BP knew about the Deepwater Horizon oil rig's safety risks a year while ago. So, naturally, the "critical alarm system" that would've warned workers bad things are happening was intentionally disabled before the explosion that took down the rig.

The rig's chief electrician, Michael Williams, testified yesterday that the alarm system was "inhibited," its automaticness killed because managers "did not want people woken up at 3 a.m. with false alarms." It had to be turned on manually, as a result. It wasn't.

The alarm system failures are just part of a long list of problems and general neglect, the WSJ notes after reviewing a 60-page audit that still hasn't been made public: emergency power failures, despite warning signs the generators had problems; safety systems that might've prevented the catastrophe never kicked in; skipped tests and shoddy procedures.

If you want to obliterate your feel-good weekend mood, check out the full report: [WSJ, Image: Gerald Herbert/AP]