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January 14th, 2010

Apache Offshore Platform Fire off Louisiana Coast is Fatal

An Apache Corporation oil and natural gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico caught on fire, leaving one contract worker dead yesterday.  Apache has shut in the wells flowing to the platform off Louisiana and the fire has been extinguished.

The blaze erupted on Houston, Texas-based Apache’s East Cameron 2 processing platform, two miles off of the Louisiana coast.  The platform processes about 7.7 million cubic feet of gas and 850 barrels of oil per day.  It is one of more than 4,000 oil and natural gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

When officials arrived, three men were found in the water and were rescued by a commercial vessel working in the area. The two survivors were 40-year old Joseph Stone from American Fork, Utah and 29-year old Joel Portie from Jennings, Louisiana.  They were transported to South Cameron Hospital.  The third person pulled from the water was Frank Richard, just 34 years-old, of Mowata, Louisiana.  While he was being transported to the hospital, he reportedly stopped breathing on the boat and died.  Richard had experience working on offshore platforms, but unfortunately died as a result of injuries he sustained in the offshore platform fire.

The offshore platform sub-contracted employees were provided by Lafayette, Louisiana’s Island Operating Company.  Islant Operating staffs facilities for various energy companies in the Gulf of Mexico.

While the cause of the blaze remains unknown at this time, the companies involved immediately began investigating environmental issues and safety concerns.

Incidents like this are tragic and generally preventable by instituting the proper safety standards.  Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  has represented HUNDREDS of contract workers injured on oil and gas platforms.  We have been a practice focused on maritime law for over 40 years.  Not many firms can claim that type of experience or the results we are able to obtain for our clients.  We have relationships with maritime adjusters, defense attorneys, maritime employers and other plaintiff’s counsel in every state and internationally.  Please contact us for a free evaluation of your offshore platform injury or email us at info@smslegal.com so we can assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve.

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