Published: Mar 04, 2011 9:16 PM EST
Updated: Mar 04, 2011 6:19 PM EST

NEW ORLEANS- Federal investigators say there may have been a safety design problem with the pods that controlled the massive device that failed to stop the Gulf oil spill, and they want more testing done to confirm that.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is objecting to the government's decision to halt testing of the blowout preventer on Friday.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of a letter the board sent to the team that has been overseeing the testing since November at a NASA facility in New Orleans. The team is jointly run by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement.

The safety board has been among the groups allowed to monitor the testing.

The firm doing the testing is expected to submit its findings by March 20.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)