facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Spill probe considers manslaughter charges

March 30, 2011 at 9:52 AM   |   Comments

1 of 2
| License Photo
WASHINGTON, March 30 (UPI) -- The Justice Department is considering manslaughter charges in its criminal probe into last year's Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, law enforcement officials said.

The inquiry could lead to a variety of possible violations, including manslaughter charges in the deaths of 11 workers killed when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded April 20, 2010, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Charges aren't imminent and law enforcement and other sources told the Post it was unclear whether they would be filed against the companies -- BP or Transocean, which leased the rig to BP -- or against individuals.

"I'd be surprised if they don't prosecute BP and Transocean," said David Uhlmann, a University of Michigan law professor and the Justice Department's former top environmental crimes prosecutor. "Whether individuals can be charged is a much more difficult question."

Officials from BP, Transocean and the Justice Department declined to comment, the Post said.

Separately, a civil inquiry led to the Justice Department suing BP and eight other companies in December. The lawsuit accuses BP and other firms of violating federal regulations and failing to prevent the explosion and seeks civil penalties under federal environmental statutes.

The environmental disaster began with the oil rig explosion April 20 and the spill continued until July 15. The spill released an estimated 206 million gallons of crude oil and is considered the largest accidental marine oil spill in petroleum industry history.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
School accused of using girl as rape bait; girl gets attacked School accused of using girl as rape bait; girl gets attacked
2
Man who raped pit bull puppy sentenced to five years in prison Man who raped pit bull puppy sentenced to five years in prison
3
40 Islamic State fighters killed in U.S. air strike 40 Islamic State fighters killed in U.S. air strike
4
Man beaten to death with barbell in San Francisco gym Man beaten to death with barbell in San Francisco gym
5
Playboy Magazine names UPenn top party school for 2014 Playboy Magazine names UPenn top party school for 2014
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback