• The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was one of the worst environmental catastrophes in United States history. Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, Deepwater Horizon (yes, that’s the real name of the oil rig location) was the largest Transocean and BP-operated drilling rig. The rig was in full operation for 9 years and was mobile which meant it moved around in waters up to three kilometres deep.

  • There were some safety concerns on board the rig and a man named Mike Williams (Wahlberg’s character) was an electronics technician who voiced these to ignorant seniors. He has since recounted how safety warning alarms had been switched off for almost a year prior to the “accident”.

  • On April 20, 2010, an abnormal amount of pressure built up inside a marine riser (a well) in the drilling rig. A bubble of methane gas escaped from this well, shooting up and causing an explosion. (Note: This is known as a blow-out or an oil-gusher).  deepwaterhorizon1

  • The explosion caused a fire, which burned for more than a day, eventually causing the rig to sink on April 22.

  • The NY Times published an article in the same year based on 21 interviews with workers who escaped and 94 sworn testimonies and written statements. Journalists David Barstow, Davis Rhode and Stephanie Saul describe the explosion in detail: “Crew members were cut down by shrapnel, hurled across rooms and buried under smoking wreckage. Some were swallowed by fireballs that raced through the oil rig’s shattered interior. Dazed and battered survivors, half-naked and dripping in highly combustible gas, crawled inch by inch in pitch darkness, willing themselves to the lifeboat deck. It was no better there… Crew members, certain they were about to be cooked alive, scrambled into enclosed lifeboats for shelter, only to find them like smoke-filled ovens.” You can read more about it here

  • Out of the 126 crew members, 11 were never found, presumed dead, and 17 were injured and taken to hospital.

  • The spill caused the largest environmental disaster in US history with so much marine life now dead.

  • Upon investigation, officials realised William’s claims to be true. A “blowout preventer” had been damaged during a similar incident just one month earlier but hadn’t been replaced.

  • Transocean, BP and Cameron International were found guilty of negligence amongst other charges. And subsequently… 11 counts of manslaughter.

  • In March 2011, Summit Entertainment (they’ve brought you so many films including big ones like Twilight) bought the film rights to the New York Times article.deepwaterhorizon2

  • Kate Hudson stars as Felicia Williams, Mike’s wife. Keep a look out for Hudson’s step-father Kurt Russell too and Teen Wolf teenage-heartthrob Dylan O’Brien. (He look amazing in this movie!)

  • The film is directed by Peter Berg who also directed Friday Night Lights.

Deepwater Horizon is in cinemas October 6. 

Images: Instagram @deepwaterhorizonmovie

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