Gulf Blast Death Toll Rises

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 @ 03:11 PM gHale

A badly burned Filipino oil worker aboard the Houston-based Black Elk Energy oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico died from his injuries Nov. 23, Philippines Embassy officials said.

His death brings the fatality toll from the Nov. 16 incident to two, both of whom are Filipinos. Three more Filipino workers are still undergoing treatment for serious wounds from the blaze, while a sixth Filipino worker is still missing.

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The Philippines Embassy also said there were three other Filipino workers on the oil platform when the explosion took place. They were not hurt by the blast, and are now back in Manila after providing their accounts of the incident to investigating federal authorities.

Black Elk received a subpoena by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board seeking details on the company’s safety and environmental management plans and audits by the U.S. Department of Interior. Black Elk must respond to the subpoena by Nov. 30.

Nov. 16 reports from the U.S. Coast Guard said production was not flowing from the well and at least 26 to 28 people were aboard the platform. The workers were cutting on the platform when sparks from a torch hit a storage tank, which then exploded. The platform is around 17 miles offshore Grand Isle, LA in 21 feet of water.

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