Monday, May 10, 2010

Make It Stop

As we wait for new developments with the meandering gulf oil slick (and really....short of plugging the hole, what could be a good development at this point?) National Public Radio has posted this story from a survivor of the rig explosion, Christopher Choy. Choy's chilling account of the blast and the events that followed give a fresh perspective of the risks offshore workers face everyday they show up for work.

Stuff like this:

On the floor of the rig, they spotted a popular crane operator. He'd been blown off the stairs to the rig and fallen some 40 feet below. Fire was burning menacingly close to him. Then, as they tried to reach him, a fireball erupted in their pathway, and they realized they could not reach him to try to save him. Says Choy, "And it just killed me that I knew I couldn't get to him. That's probably the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life — that we had to leave that and leave him there."

Choy would reach the life capsule on the deck below. And there he found a scene of dangerous chaos. Men — including some with broken bones, open wounds and burning skin — pushed onto the lifeboat. It was built for about 60 men, but many more crowded onto it, making it unstable.

"Some people were trying to just jump in them, and they were going crazy. And I mean, it's actually dangerous to be in a lifeboat if people aren't properly trained or people are panicking in a lifeboat, you can flip the lifeboat," says Choy. "If everybody's not strapped in, they're freaking out, running to one side of it, it'll flip over and it's gonna stay upside down. And if you have the door open, I mean, it's gonna fill with water."

Read/listen here

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