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May 13th, 2013

Black Elk Subpoenaed after Fatal Gulf of Mexico Offshore Platform Fire

Just a few days after the disastrous fire on board a shallow water offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico, the federal administration has issued a subpoena to Houston-based Black Elk Energy.

The subpoena has been issued by the US Chemical Safety Board, which is seeking details about Black Elk Energy’s safety and environmental management strategies. The company has been given time till the end of this month to respond to the subpoena.

The official fatality toll from the fire, which blazed through the platform, is believed to be two.

Most of the 28 crew members on the platform at the time of the fire are believed to be nationals of the Philippines. Four crew members were injured in the fire, and are being treated in the hospital for serious burn injuries. Two of them are believed to be in a serious condition, while 2 are in a critical condition.

Meanwhile, a dive team is continuing to examine the structure to assess the amount of damage, and to search for the body of the missing crew member.

Preliminary investigations and interviews with the crewmembers have suggested that the workers were cutting into a line when sparks from a torch struck a storage tank. The tank exploded causing a fire. Formal investigations by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement have already begun.

The Houston offshore injury lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  represent offshore oil rig and platform workers who have been injured in accidents in the Gulf Of Mexico region and across Texas.

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