Black Elk Energy faces charges for fatal offshore explosion

A Houston-based company is facing criminal charges relating to an explosion on an offshore oil production platform that claimed three lives, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Charges laid by federal prosecutors include six counts and allege that the company, Black Elk Energy, committed violations of safety regulations, which led to the blast on the Gulf of Mexico platform in November 2012.

Five of the counts relate to violations of federal health and safety laws and one relates to breaking the Clean Water Act.

The explosion killed three workers from the Philippines and injured several others.

In the complaint it is claimed that Black Elk’s practices and those of its contractors omitted to ensure an oil storage tank was void of flammable gases before men began welding work on a pipe adjoining the tank.

Multiple explosions occurred and spillage of quantities of oil, which led to the Clean Water Act charge.


Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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