facebook
twitter
search
search

Nov. rig fire exposes worker safety issues

Sept. 19, 2013 at 6:53 AM
Sign up for our Energy Newsletter

HOUSTON, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- An explosion at a Black Elk Energy rig in the Gulf of Mexico in 2012 highlights training concerns for offshore platform operations, a safety official said.

Three of the 24 rig workers on a platform operated by Black Elk Energy died in a mid-November accident off the coast of Louisiana.

The company said the incident occurred during a "construction project." Investigators said rig workers cut into a pipeline on the platform that had oil inside, sparking the blaze.

Black Elk said last month a third party investigation found contractors failed to follow basic safety standards.

Tony Scott, general manager of offshore safety company OCS Group, told energy reporting website Rigzone lack of training was a likely factor in the incident.

"If the workers knew more about the dangers around them, the fatalities may well have been avoided," he said in an interview published Wednesday.

Scott said extreme temperatures, not just a spark, could lead to an explosion of vapors.

The Philippine Embassy to the United States confirmed its nationals were among the dead. Ambassador Jose Cuisia said last year the nine Filipinos on the platform at the time of the Nov. 16 incident would not have been there had they had proper training.

Related UPI Stories
Topics: Tony Scott
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Ted Cruz campaign pulls ad featuring softcore porn actress
Report: Clinton Foundation subpoenaed by State Dept. watchdog over charity projects
Ruby Rose, Gigi Hadid react to Kanye West's lyric about Taylor Swift
Kristen Wiig impersonates Peyton Manning on 'The Tonight Show'
NYC police officer found guilty of manslaughter in Brooklyn stairway shooting