Injuries, Fatalities & Environmental Impact
Reports indicated that about two dozen workers were on board the platform. 11 workers were injured—4 hospitalized, 2 missing. Several days after the explosion, divers located the body of one missing worker underneath the platform. Of the hospitalized workers, several suffered significant burns, but only two remained in critical condition for several days. Although the Coast Guard received a report of a dark substance below the surface of the water surrounding the accident, later news reports denied the existence of a significant spill. Anywhere between 3.5 gallons and 15.8 barrels of oil may have been released into the gulf, but a spill this size is not likely to damage the surrounding environment.
Black Elk Energy
Based in Houston, Black Elk Energy is a five-year-old independent oil and gas company devoted to acquiring, exploiting, and developing properties with these resources. The company currently has an interest in 560,000 acres of oil leases. In its short existence, Black Elk has devoted its energy to buying seemingly dried up oil and gas wells along the Louisiana and Texas coasts; they have made it their business to extract from them whatever oil remains. Although the company has only been operating for a short time, they have already acquired a spotty safety record.
Within just a few months, the High Island well blew, and its shear rams failed to stem the flow of oil.
The well had to be plugged and abandoned. In September 2012, Black Elk paid a $300,000 fine as a punishment for failing an April 2011 safety inspection on one of its platforms; the company was not following safety procedures at that location. The company is also facing an additional $140,000 fine over penalties at another platform dating back to October 2011. Despite its problems maintaining safe operations at its 1167 wells, Black Elk announced in October 2012 that it plans to drill 23 new wells in the Gulf of Mexico.
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Arnold & Itkin is dedicated to giving offshore workers the legal representation that they need and deserve. At the firm, we have recovered billions of dollars for injured maritime workers. If you have been injured in an oil rig explosion, contact an attorney from our office as soon as possible. We represented more than a third of the crew of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy and are ready to give you the legal aid that you need.
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