More than two weeks after the Black Elk platform explosion off the Gulf of Mexico, the body of a missing Filipino worker has finally been identified, bringing the official death toll up to three. The explosion on the West Delta 32 offshore oil platform is not the first of its kind, nor is it likely to be the last. This makes the reality of the mid-November explosion all the more unsettling, as it provokes legitimate concern among oil platform workers in the field about the safety of their own lives while conducting work of a similar nature.
Investigations into the incident have already begun, all of which are attempting to reveal the cause of the horrific disaster that struck earlier this month. The lack of conclusive results to arise as of yet only drives more focus to the fact that three lost their lives in the explosion and three more remain hospitalized for serious injuries that were sustained during the fire. Among the nine crewmen who were working on refurbishing the Black Elk platform when it exploded, only three seem to have escaped serious injury or death; a fact that does not bode well for the contractor of the project, Grand Isle Shipyard Inc.
The body of J. Malagapo (aged 28) was found on Monday approximately 2.5 miles off the coast of the Grand Isle. The deceased's dental records from the Philippines were used to officially identify the body, however, the man's cause of death has yet to be confirmed. There is little doubt, however, that anything other than the West Delta 32 explosion is to blame for his passing. Since the disaster, a spokesperson from the Embassy of the Philippines has stated that the Filipino workers who were contracted for the project are not at fault for the accident.
Federal regulators continue to investigate the cause of the explosion, looking for evidence that would identify the true nature of the accident. Unfortunately, as of now, little has been revealed about the cause of the accident, or who will ultimately be held liable for the explosion that caused critical injury and wrongful death to the unsuspecting crewman of the Black Elk platform. What we do know from statements released by a spokesperson from the Philippine Embassy is that the men aboard the platform were rigorously trained in their home country, as well as in the U.S., before beginning their work.
The speculation surrounding this incident is not likely to die down soon, especially as more and more evidence is revealed concerning the nature of the explosion. What we know now is only a small fraction of what will inevitably be revealed as the investigation proceeds. In situations such as this, however, it is always wise to begin legal investigations of your own as early on as possible. In fact, some of the strongest personal injury cases are those that began immediately, which makes it crucial that legal representation be sought as quickly as possible.
At Arnold & Itkin, we have unique insight into the litigation of offshore injury lawsuits. Playing an integral role in the representation of 27 victims of the infamous BP oil spill, we are intimately familiar with the legal tactics needed to confront issues of this nature. In fact, we are more prepared than many other law firms, because our past experience has enhanced our skills and allowed us a deeper insight into the intricate details of oil platform accidents. For victims and their families, we are prepared to aggressively pursue a case in court in order to retain the money that is rightly deserved, and we will do this all free of charge until a favorable settlement is offered. We encourage you to contact an oil rig explosion lawyer from our firm today.