Second Gulf Oil Rig Worker Dies in Hospital

Posted in Gulf Coast,Louisiana Maritime News,Maritime Accidents on November 26, 2012

BATON ROUGE, La. — In a statement on the Philippine embassy website, it is reported that on Friday, Nov. 23, a second oil rig worker who was hospitalized for injuries at the Baton Rouge General Burn Center, has died.

Photo shows oil platform owned by Houston-based Black Elk Energy on Friday, November 16, 2012. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, | The Times-Picayune)

The second victim, 49-year old Avelino L. Tajonera, passed away just after his family arrived. His wife and three children were with him that morning when he died.

Tajonera was the second death caused by the November 16 oil rig fire on the oil platform owned by Houston-based Black Elk Energy. His cause of death is not yet known.

The first death reported was 42-year old Ellroy Corporal whose body was discovered at the site of the accident. The third victim presumed dead is 28-year old Jerome Malagapo who is still missing.

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director James A. Watson said,

“Black Elk has repeatedly failed to operate in a manner that is consistent with federal regulations. BSEE has taken a number of enforcement actions, including issuing numerous Incidents of Non Compliance, levying civil penalties and calling in the company’s senior leadership to review their performance and the ramifications of failing to improve. This is an appropriate and necessary step as we continue to investigate the explosion and fire that resulted in the tragic loss of life and injuries last week.”

The BSEE announced in a news release that Black Elk must submit a performance improvement plan by Dec. 15 detailng steps it will take to ensure compliance.

Posted by Louisiana maritime lawyer, Gordon, Elias & Seely.