9 Filipinos injured, 2 missing in Gulf platform fire

A+
A
A-

In this aerial photograph, a supply vessel moves near an oil rig damaged by an explosion and fire, Friday in the Gulf of Mexico about 25 miles southeast of Grand Isle, Louisiana. AP

MANILA, Philippines—At least nine Filipinos were reported injured while two others were missing after a fire broke out on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC said on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

Four of the injured Filipinos were severely burned in the blaze, which started Friday while workers were using a torch to cut an oil line about 25 miles off Grand Isle in Louisiana,  Ambassador Jose Cuisia, Jr. said in a statement.

Officials at Baton Rouge General Medical Center said Saturday that two Filipinos remained in critical condition, while two other compatriots remained in serious condition. The four, being treated in a burn unit, are employees of oilfield contractor Grand Isle Shipyard.

The hospital said it and Grand Isle Shipyard are trying to reach the men’s families in the Philippines.

“The Philippine Overseas Labor Office here at the embassy has been informed that the medical needs of the workers are being taken care of. The Philippine Consulate General in Chicago has also been informed about the incident and is now monitoring developments there,” Cuisia said.

The Philippine Embassy earlier reported that 13 Filipinos were injured.

The US Coast Guard called off its search for the two missing Filipino workers at about 5:25 p.m. CST Saturday. Helicopters had been searching for the two from the air, while a cutter searched the sea.

Coast Guard ends search for 2 after oil rig fire

The production platform owned by Houston-based Black Elk Energy is on the western side of the Mississippi River delta. The Coast Guard said 22 people were on the platform at the time of the fire, 14 of them are employees for contractor Grand Isle Shipyard.

It’s unclear whether the missing men also worked for Grand Isle Shipyard. A man who answered the phone at the company’s Galliano, Louisiana office on Saturday said no one was available to comment.

Coast Guard Captain Ed Cubanski said the platform appeared to be structurally sound. He said only about 28 gallons (106 liters) of oil were in the broken line on the platform.

David Smith, a spokesman for the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement in Washington, said an environmental enforcement team was dispatched from a Gulf Coast base by helicopter soon after the Coast Guard was notified of the emergency. Smith said the team would scan for any evidence of oil spilling and investigate the cause of the explosion.

Black Elk is an independent oil and gas company. The company’s website says it holds interests in properties in Texas and Louisiana waters, including 854 wells on 155 platforms.

John Hoffman, Black Elk’s president and CEO, said in an email early Saturday morning that he was leaving Houston for Louisiana to assist in the investigation and help the families of the missing and injured workers.

“My entire focus is the families and workers. Nothing else matters at this point,” he wrote. With a report from Associated Press in New Orleans

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • AFPako

    Basta may mga kayumangmang, meyron talagang mangyayari. Baka nag inuman mga ito at nag yoyosi tapos umulbo ang oil rig. Dios ko Santisima. 

    • worldlord_explorer

      YUNG UTAK MO KAILNGAN MONG LINISIN HINDI NGA SINABI KUNG ANUNG CAUSE NG PAGSABOG NAG JUDGE KA NA AGAD.. SIGURO GAWAIN MO YAN UMINOM AT MAG YOSI HABANG TAMBAY LANG SA BAHAY….. DYOS KO SANTISIMA. UGALI MO.. PUMUNTA KA SA CHINA PARA DUN HINDI KA MAKAPAG INTERNET HABANG NAGTRATRABAHO  KA SA PABRIKA……

      • AFPako

        Huwag mong e deny unggok , basta magsamasama ang mga kayumanggooks , mahilig sa shortcuts sa safety measures at pinabuluyasok nila ang dapat gagawing tama. Kaya ang tinawag sila ng kayumangmang as in brown illiterates,

        Bigyan mo ang kayumangmang na tamang panggamit at tuturuan mo yan paano paggamit , e bibinta lang yan .

        Give a kayumangmang a fish, he will eat it for the day. Give a kayumangmang a fishing rod, he will sell it in no time and buy  a fish.

        Ang rason ng umulbo nito ay gumagamit sila ng hot cutter instead of cold cutter to cut a 3 inch pipe with heavy load of oil and gas to prevent possibility of sparks and explosion . Instead of following proper procedures itong mga kayumangmang ay hindi nag follow ng proper safety. Ayan , umulbo ang pweeet nila.

    • GustoKoHappyKa

      Wag ka masyado mag marunong dahil hindi mo alam ang nangyari.. Isa sa pinaka delikadon lugar eh yan mga oil platform. BAWAL MANIGARILYO DYAN!!!

      Lahat ng umaakyat sa isang oil rig may training yan on SAFETY Procedures. Kahit ang isang simpleng bumibisita may TRAINING yan ng kung ano at hindi dapat gagawin. Kaya yung pinag susulat mo na nag yoyosi at nag iinuman..malaking ka b0b0han yon!

      • AFPako

         Simpli  lang yan, the whole crew were Pinos pati ang supervisor nila. Alam mo naman ang mga ugaling kayumangmangs, pag nakapuesto yan hindi mo maasahan . Nag shortcut ang trabaho para tapos kaagad. Ayan, pag may spark kahit ang liit, ulbo ang mga pweeet nyo ! Malamang nagpapabaya mga ito  at kumpyansa.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94