US makes first arrest in BP oil spill case - by: From correspondents in New Orleans From: AP April 25, 2012 5:16AM

  • by: From correspondents in New Orleans
  • From: AP
  • April 25, 2012 5:16AM
THE US Justice Department said overnight it has filed the first criminal charges in the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, accusing a former BP engineer of destroying evidence.

Kurt Mix, of Katy, Texas, was arrested on two counts of obstruction of justice.

The Justice Department said the 50-year-old Mr Mix is accused of deleting a string of 200 text messages with a BP supervisor in October 2010 that involved internal BP information about how efforts to cap the well were failing.

BP officials did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

Justice Department officials said Mr Mix would make an initial appearance in federal court in Houston today.

Tomorrow, a federal judge in New Orleans is expected to consider a motion to approve a $US7.8 billion ($7.59 billion) civil settlement between BP and a committee of plaintiffs in a civil case.

The BP-leased rig Deepwater Horizon exploded the night of April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and setting off the nation's worst offshore oil disaster. More than 200 million gallons (909,218,000 litres) of crude oil flowed out of the well off the Louisiana coast before it was capped

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/us-makes-first-arrest-in-bp-oil-spill-case/story-e6frfku0-1226337629241#ixzz1t0xyOZCp

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