Published: Apr 08, 2011 7:20 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 08, 2011 4:21 PM EDT

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - A senior official for the maker of the blowout preventer that failed to stop last year's Gulf oil spill says the device hadn't been tested to see if it could cut through a bent drill pipe.
    
The firm hired by the government to examine the 300-ton device after it was raised from the seafloor concluded the blind shear rams couldn't pinch the well shut by cutting through the drill pipe. That's because the pipe had been knocked off-center. The firm faulted the design of the Cameron-made blowout preventer.
    
Cameron vice president David McWhorter told a federal investigative panel Friday he couldn't say if the device was designed to cut through a bent drill pipe. He said it wasn't tested for that possibility before the disaster.