Change of plea likely in Black Elk involuntary manslaughter trial

Change of plea likely in Black Elk involuntary manslaughter trial

Houston-based Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations could be set to soon change its plea in a federal trial relating to a fatal 2012 explosion on one of its platforms in the US Gulf of Mexico, according to the Associated Press.

Black Elk originally pleaded not guilty to three counts of involuntary manslaughter plus safety and environmental violations in the case.

But court records indicate a judge set a change-of-plea hearing for April 26 at the request of both prosecution and defence teams.

The case relates to events of November 16, 2012 on the WD 32 E platform that Black Elk was operating 17 miles off Grand Isle, Louisiana.

Three Filipino men died and other workers were injured when oil vapours ignited during welding work, causing oil tanks to explode.

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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