First Arrest Made In BP Oil Spill

More than two years after the Deepwater Horizon rig collapsed in the Gulf of Mexico — killing 11 people — a former engineer for BP has become the first person arrested in the investigation surrounding the disaster.

The engineer stands accused of deleting hundreds of text messages with details on how much oil was flowing from the ruptured well into the Gulf of Mexico. He had been part of the team BP created to stop the leak and provide estimates on the volume of oil being released.

He had been under orders to not delete any information pertaining to his efforts, but authorities claim he deleted a total of 300 messages.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The deleted messages, some of which were recovered forensically, included sensitive information about the failure of one of the efforts to stop the flow of oil, known as the “top kill.” This includes a May 26, 2010, message from the first day of the top-kill efforts that said, “Too much flowrate–over 15,000,” indicating the flow from the well was three times higher than the company had said was the official rate of flow.

In 2011, Consumerist readers selected BP as the winner of our annual Worst Company In America tournament.