The Gulf of Mexico's oil spill in 2010 is the largest marine oil spill in human history and caused enormous environmental damage, apart from the loss of 11 lives. BP has been charged as the main culprit and has had to shell out billions of dollars in the clean up effort and may end up paying more as fines and settlement cost.
Evidence has pointed out that the disaster could have been avoided. A report by a White House oil spill commission stated that prior to the incident, a critical negative pressure test on the rig yielded unexpected results. However, the site staff did not confer with a BP engineer who was visiting the rig nor with any other on-shore engineer. The test results were misread and the work continued after temporary abandonment. It is believed that an intervention (further testing, preventive measures) at that point could have averted the disaster. The report also stated that given Halliburton's known issues, BP should have taken measures to prevent such an event. Halliburton's cement formula ideally should have blocked the flow of oil and gas; its failure raised questions about Halliburton's competency (Halliburton has agreed to pay $1.1 billion in damages).
Thus, the incident and the concomitant damages could have been avoided if BP had taken measures at the right time.