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Black Elk Platform Explosion

A Black Elk Energy oil platform, West Delta 32, located approximately 18 miles southeast of Grand Isle, Louisiana, exploded on Friday, November 16, 2012, killing three workers and leaving several others seriously injured.

Four of the workers, all employees of Grand Isle Shipyard, suffered second- and third-degree burns in the blast. Each was airlifted to West Jefferson Medical Center and then taken by ambulance to the Baton Rouge Burn Center for emergency treatment.

Status of the Investigation:

Authorities announced on November 29th that they recovered the body of a 3rd worker from the Gulf of Mexico. The remains were discovered approximately 20 miles from the platform, bringing the final death toll to three.

About Black Elk Energy:

Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations, LLC, the company that owns the West Delta 32, is an oil and gas production company headquartered in Houston, Texas. The company maintains an interest in over 850 wells and on more than 155 platforms near the coasts of Texas and Lousiana. These platforms are producing at depths ranging from less than 5 feet deep all the way to greater than 6,000 feet deep, per website.

What We are Doing to Help:

Our Gulf Coast rig explosion lawyers are currently working with maritime accident investigators from across the country to determine not only the cause of the explosion but also how it could have been prevented. We’re available to answer any questions you may have about our ongoing investigation.

Our Experience: Our Rig Explosion Lawyers Represented 5 of the Workers Injured in the BP Deepwater Horizon Blast on April 20, 2010

Our maritime injury lawyers have spent the past 5 years successfully representing clients in the wake of some of the worst offshore accidents in recent U.S. history.

For example, our firm was among the first law firms in the country to be hired by workers who were injured in the tragic BP/Transocean Deepwater Horizon explosion on April 20, 2010. In under 18 months, our maritime lawyers were able to reach highly favorable and confidential settlements on behalf of all 5 clients that we represented.

Chevron Endeavor and Vermillion 360:

We also successfully represented several of the workers who were injured during the Chevron Endeavor and Vermillion 360 platform explosions. Each of these cases was resolved in less than 2 years and resulted in highly-favorable settlements for each injured worker.

Black Elk Rig Fire: What Went Wrong?

According to initial reports, workers onboard the platform were using an acetylene torch to cut through a 3-inch line when the flame suddenly ignited oil that remained inside the pipe. The resulting explosion tore through the platform killing 3 Grand Isle Shipyard employees and seriously injuring several others. While the investigation remains ongoing, it should be noted that several workers onboard the platform at the time of the blast have contradicted portions of the initial story.

Watch this space for additional updates as the investigation unfolds.

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement:

As a result of the blast, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has ordered Black Elk to submit a performance improvement plan detailing the steps that the company is going to take to make sure that it complies with all applicable safety regulations going forward. The demand from BSEE comes on the heels of numerous enforcement actions that the Bureau has been forced to take against the company in just the past two years.

These issues, which include multiple incidents of non-compliance with safety regulations, have resulted in the levying of fines against the company. The BSEE has even been forced to call in the company’s senior management in order to review their performance and make them aware of the potential ramifications for failing to improve.

Black Elk – A Disturbing Safety History:

The company is no stranger to trouble. In fact, in September of 2010, Black Elk was forced to pay fines in the amount of $307,500.00 to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for multiple regulation violations. BOEM also investigated the company after two workers fell more than 60 feet off of a platform into the Gulf of Mexico in August of 2012. Coincidentally, John Hoffman, the current CEO, worked for BP Amoco for many years before leaving to found his own company in 2007.

Grand Isle Shipyard

The majority of the 25 workers aboard West Delta 32 when it exploded, including the 3 that were killed, were Grand Isle Shipyard, Inc. employees. The company, founded in 1948, was responsible for refurbishing the platform when the blast occurred.

Contact the Gulf Coast Rig Explosion Lawyers at 1-888-603-3636

If you or someone you love was injured in the Black Elk platform blast, our attorneys are here to help. Consultations are 100% free and require absolutely no commitment.

Our offshore injury lawyers will answer any of your questions, update you on the status of our investigation, explain your options, and advise you as to what you should and should not do when dealing with Black Elk or its representatives.

Call 1-888-603-3636 or simply click here to send us an email.