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There were several interrelated tragedies stemming from the Macondo well blowout, each leading to the other. First, the primary event—the failure of cement to contain the hydrocarbons in the formation—has been studied post-mortem and is fairly well understood. The second event was the gas kick that sent mud and gas shooting up the drill pipe with tremendous force. The subsequent explosion and fire may or may not have been avoidable, but crucial decisions had to be made in moments.

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