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US Senate slams oil rig spill firms

Top BP executives and two other companies involved in the rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico last month were chastised repeatedly yesterday at a key US Senate hearing for attempting at the outset to shift blame for the disaster to one another.

The fractious exchanges took place as Lamar McKay, the chairman of BP America, alongside counterparts from Transocean, the owner and operator of the destroyed rig, and Halliburton, the giant energy services company, underwent sharp questioning by members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

“I would suggest to all three of you that we are all in this together,” scolded Senator Lisa Murkowsky.

BP is braced for weeks of intensive hearings conducted by committees of the US Senate and the House of Representatives into the accident which, aside from setting off a huge environmental crisis, cost the lives of 11 workers.

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