The perfect (or terrible) storm of events that led to the April 20th explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig just got even more tragic. The vessel's electrician, Michael Williams, testified yesterday that an alarm system that should have warned workers of danger had been disabled just before the explosion, which killed 11 and led to quite possibly the worst environmental disaster in the world. Williams said the automatic system had been switched off because they "did not want people woken up at 3 a.m. with false alarms." Because what's worse, having the deaths of 11 innocent workers on your conscience or knowing that you inconvenienced some workers with a few interrupted nights of sleep?

Deepwater rig owners Transocean provided statements from crew members who said they heard alarms going off that day, and provided part of an April inspection report which said they found "no [gas] detectors either in fault or inhibited condition, other than units being serviced." However, Transocean employees have testified about multiple safety failures on the rig, including malfunctioning backup generators. Stephen Bertone, the rig's chief engineer, described waiting for emergency power to start on the night of the disaster, and running to the room that held the standby generator with Williams. Multiple attempts to start the generator produced no results, and he ran back to the bridge and "hollered out, 'That's it. Abandon ship. Let's go.'"

Meanwhile, threats from Tropical Storm Bonnie forced the government and BP to temporarily abandon monitoring of the new containment cap on the leak and the "static kill" effort, in which mud and cement will be pumped down the well to plug it. Officials are also concerned about the storm's surge possibly pushing oil into surrounding marshes and beaches, but scientists say the mixing water could actually help bacteria degrade some of the remaining oil.