April 30, 2010 7:31 PM

Decade-old report cited failure of oil rig safety system

A 1999 report commissioned by the federal agency that oversees offshore drilling suggests failures of underwater blowout preventers designed to stop oil spills like the massive one threatening the Gulf Coast were far from unknown. Citing a Minerals Management Service report, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said there were 117 failures of blowout preventers during a two-year period in the late 1990s on the outer continental shelf of the United States.

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