Michael Williams, chief electronics technician on the oil platform, speaks in his first interview in a report to be broadcast this Sunday, May 16, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
Williams describes to Pelley the signs of the coming explosion as natural gas from the well was escaping onto the platform, then was sucked into the vessel's generators, which began to burn it and run out of control.
"I'm hearing hissing. Engines are over-revving and then all of a sudden, all the lights in my shop just started getting brighter and brighter and brighter," says Williams, "and I knew something bad was getting ready to happen."
Williams survived the blast and had to jump from the burning platform nearly 100 feet into oily waters beneath it.
He sums up what happened the night of April 20 aboard the massive oil drilling platform owned by his company, Transocean. "The well kicked, the safety systems failed, and men lost their lives. I don't know how else to say it," he tells Pelley. "All the things that they told us could never happen, happened. You know, on a daily basis, we were told, 'We're going to send you home better than the day you got here. It wasn't true that day.'"
Williams suffered a gash on his forehead and broken ribs, and was rescued just before falling unconscious as he swam furiously to avoid burning oil from the exploded rig.
The "60 Minutes" double-length segment examines the events leading up to the blast using first-hand accounts and utilizing never-before-seen footage of the disaster taken moments after the blast.
Produced by Solly Granatstein and Graham Messick