(KLFY) Ten years ago today (April 20, 2010), the Transocean owned and British Petroleum operated Deep Water Horizon oil rig exploded killing 11 crew members and starting the largest marine oil spill in history, spewing between four million and five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
A movie was made about the tragedy based on survivor accounts of what happened.
One survivor who has not spoken publicly until now shared his story exclusively with News10.
In an emotional interview, Kevin “KP” Senegal recalls that fateful day saying, “All we could do was say, this is it, it’s over! The floor left my feet. It shook you from wall to wall, you had to hold on.”
April 20, 2010 is a day the Lafayette native will never forget.Senegal said, “It was a very scary day.”
It was the day the deep water horizon oil rig, owned and operated by offshore-oil-drilling company Transocean and leased by oil company British Petroleum, exploded in the Gulf of Mexico destroying the massive structure, killing 11 crew members on board and setting off the largest marine oil spill in history.
Senegal was on board. It was the first day of his shift, until he says, “I seen sheen on the water just like oil.”
He was taking a break outside and went inside to tell his work partner what he saw.
They spoke briefly and then he said suddenly,”Everything blew up.”
Senegal said they were standing in a hallway and something large and loud came through the building and was barreling towards them.
“All I heard was “shoop!” Like a big old vessel coming thru the wall! Chairs were flying from out the office. I just knew my life was over with.”
But it wasn’t. He and a handful of others near him made it to the outside deck.
Several of them tried to get over to the most intense fire to save anyone they could.
“The minute everybody was trying to try to save somebody, the heat was so hot, you couldn’t take three steps towards that fire.”
They then made their way onto a large life raft with dozens of crew members, Senegal said between 60 to 80 of them.
And just when safety was within reach, a cable gets caught trapping the raft and that’s when Senegal sprang into action.
“I unloosened the cable and we all got away free. After it came off, we floated to safety.”
Today he’s thankful to be alive, but Senegal says he’s still living the nightmare. How are you dealing with it now?
“I shake everyday, still see smoke and i’m just always shaking.”
Are you still in therapy? “No ma’am.” Should you be? “Yes ma’am.
“I want to just be happy and don’t be so scared of everything. BP promised me that I would never have to worry again in life. They told me they were going to take care of me for the rest of my life and I’ll be alright. Now I need BP to reach out again because I feel it didn’t pay the expense of my trauma. It’s really scary to live in this world like this.”
Senegal said he received a settlement to help with medical bills and legal fees.
However, on this 10th year anniversary, Senegal finds himself still dealing with PTSD that often affects his ability to hold down a job so he struggles financially.
He is currently seeking legal counsel to help him get his life back.