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HOUSTON (Reuters) - Before rig workers aboard a doomed drilling platform performed a procedure that BP Plc says may have been a "fundamental mistake," there was a "skirmish" between BP and Transocean staff about whether to proceed, the rig's chief mechanic told federal investigators on Wednesday.

Around 9:53 p.m. CDT on April 20 (0253 GMT on April 21), Swiss-based Transocean Ltd's Deepwater Horizon rig exploded while it was drilling a well a mile beneath the Gulf of Mexico under contract for London-based BP Plc. Eleven rig workers are presumed dead.

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