Worker Dies of Burns from U.S. Gulf Platform Fire

Worker Dies of Burns from U.S. Gulf Platform Fire

Avelino Tajonera, one of the four Filipino workers that were injured in the oil platform explosion off the coast of Louisiana a week ago, died in hospital on Friday.

The Philippines Ambassador in Washington, Jose L. Cuisia Jr. said Tajonera, who was one of two workers listed in critical condition, died early on Friday, shortly after the arrival of his widow and three children from Manila.

Tajonera, 49, a welder from Dinalupihan, Bataan, died as a result of complications from major burn injuries he sustained in the incident which occurred on board the Black Elk Energy’s oil platform located at West Delta 32 Block, in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico approximately 17 miles southeast of Grand Isle, La.

Tajonera’s death brings to two the number of fatalities in the November 16 explosion and fire that also left three other Filipinos seriously injured and one missing. Ellroy Corporal, 42, died in the incident while Jerome Malagapo, 28, has still not been found. There were 22 workers on the platform at the time of the incident.

BSEE: Black Elk must improve

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has notified Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations, LLC (Black Elk) that the company must take immediate steps to improve its safety performance on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

“Black Elk has repeatedly failed to operate in a manner that is consistent with federal regulations,” said BSEE Director James A. Watson.

The oil company is facing enforcement actions, which can include potential revocation of its designation as an operator on all its facilities on the OCS, if the company does not demonstrate improved performance.

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