The discovery suggested that the force of the erupting petroleum from BP's well on April 20 was so violent that it sent pipe segments hurtling into the blowout preventer, like derailing freight cars. It also offered a tantalizing theory for the failure of the well's last line of defense, the powerful pinchers called shear rams inside the blowout preventer that should have cut the pipe and stopped the rising oil and gas from reaching the Deepwater Horizon 5,000 feet above. Drilling experts say those rams, believed to be partially deployed, could have been thwarted by the presence of a second pipe.
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