BP Oil Spill Trial Continues

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN
|  Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013  |  Updated 10:59 AM CDT
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BP Oil Spill Trial Continues

AP

In this April 21, 2010 file photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, fire boat response crews spray water on the blazing remnants of BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig. (AP Photo/US Coast Guard, File)

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An expert witness for people and businesses who sued BP over the Gulf oil spill says he found ample evidence that the company's cost-cutting culture led to the disaster.

University of California-Berkeley engineering professor Robert Bea testified Tuesday at a civil trial. He says BP PLC didn't implement a safety management program on the rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

The London-based company has said the program was designed to drive a rigorous and systematic approach to safety and risk management.

Bea is the trial's first witness. He says it is "tragic" and "egregious" that BP didn't apply its own safety program.

A former BP consultant, Bea also investigated the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill and New Orleans levee breaches after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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