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News - 13 September 2012

BP has been accused of ‘gross negligence and wilful misconduct’ by the US Justice Department, In the latest development of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion.

The claims were filed in a New Orleans federal court, which BP denies . If the claims are proved, the oil giant may face damages of $21billion.

According to the BBC, the filing from the government stated that ‘such a simple, yet fundamental and safety-critical test could have been so stunningly, blindingly botched in so many ways, by so many people, demonstrates gross negligence’.

BP continues to defend itself against the claims, and said in a statement: “BP believes it was not grossly negligent and looks forward to presenting evidence on this issue at trial.”

The trial is due to begin early in the New Year.

Leased by BP, the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 people and spilled millions of gallons of oil when it blew up in April 2010.