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Three Workers Critically Injured, Three Dead After Fiery Gulf Rig Explosion

3 December 2012No Comments

Oil rig accidentFour oil rig workers were transported to hospitals on November 16, after an explosion and fire ripped through a Gulf oil platform owned by Black Elk Energy, an independent oil and gas company headquartered in Houston, Texas. Two workers also went missing in the midst of the blast, both of whom have since been found dead in the waters surrounding the offshore platform. The four workers hospitalized after the explosion suffered second- and third-degree burns over a large portion of their bodies, and one of the four succumbed to his severe burn injuries and died at a Louisiana hospital on November 23. If you have been injured in an oil rig accident in Texas, or if you lost a loved one in such an accident, contact our experienced lawyers at Bandas Law Firm to explore your compensation options.

Investigation Launched Into Cause Of Deadly Offshore Blast

According to initial reports issued by Coast Guard officials, workers aboard the oil platform were using a blow torch instead of a saw to cut an oil line, which resulted in the explosion and subsequent fire. Mark Pregeant, the CEO of Grand Isle Shipyard – the oilfield contractor that employed all six workers injured or killed in the explosion – has since released a statement indicating that the cause of the blast is unknown and that “initial reports that a welding torch was being used at the time of the incident or that an incorrect line was cut are completely inaccurate.” Despite these claims, federal authorities have warned the Texas-based Black Elk Energy to improve safety at its facilities or risk having its license to operate in the Gulf revoked.

Oil Platform Explosion Brings Back Memories Of BP Oil Spill

Coast Guard Captain Ed Cubanski reported that the well was not producing oil at the time of the blast, and said that no oil was leaking from the platform, except for a small amount that spilled from the rig when workers first cut into the line, leaving a sheen roughly one kilometer long and 180 meters wide. The Black Elk platform is reportedly used for oil production from an established well, unlike the Deepwater Horizon rig, which was drilling an exploratory well for BP when when it exploded and triggered a major oil spill in 2010, killing 11 workers. This news likely comes as a relief to residents of Texas and other Gulf Coast states still struggling from the effects of the BP oil spill, which illustrated the considerable risk that offshore drilling poses to the region’s economy and ecosystem.

Contact Our Skilled Attorneys Today

At the time of the deadly explosion, there were 26 people aboard the platform owned by Black Elk Energy, which reportedly holds interests in properties in Texas and Louisiana waters, including 854 wells on 155 platforms. In addition to the four workers who suffered severe burns and the two who went missing in the blast, eleven people were taken by helicopter to area hospitals or for treatment on shore in the aftermath of the explosion. If you have suffered injuries in an accident on an oil rig or on an offshore oil platform like the one owned by Black Elk Energy, contact our qualified attorneys at Bandas Law Firm to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the party found at-fault in the accident, in order to pursue financial compensation for your resulting injuries, medical bills and other damages.

Posted Under: Oil Rig Accident