GoM update: One dead, one missing in platform fire

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – Black Elk Energy continued to search on Monday for a worker missing since an offshore platform explosion and fire Friday, November 16.

The company late Saturday recovered the body of one worker killed in the accident in West Delta block 32 offshore Louisiana. Eleven workers were evacuated by helicopter to area hospitals and another nine on the platform escaped uninjured, the US Coast Guard said.

The fire reportedly ignited when a line was cut during maintenance work on the platform, which is under contract to Houston-based Black Elk.

In a statement released Sunday, the company said it had hired additional dive boats and initiated a beach search in Plaquemines Parish, southeast of New Orleans. The Coast Guard suspended its search and rescue operations late Saturday.

“We remain focused on the victims and their families, including those injured in the incident. An official investigation has begun to examine the facts surrounding this incident, and we will continue to cooperate with all authorities as this process develops,” Black Elk said in the statement.

The Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C., identified the victim as contract worker Elroy Corporal, 42. The missing worker, who the embassy did not identify, is also from the Philippines, as are two who were reportedly in critical condition at Baton Rouge General Hospital. The workers were employed by Grand Isle Shipyard.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has assembled a team to investigate the explosion and fire.

11/19/2012

West Delta block 32
Photo courtesy The Associated Press/Gerald Herbert

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