Families agree undisclosed settlement in Black Elk rig disaster case

Families of victims of the 2012 explosion and fire on the Black Elk rig in the Gulf of Mexico, have agreed settlements for an undisclosed amount just over a week after the start of a trial combining 10 lawsuits.

The tragedy occurred on November 16 of that year during welding work on the WD32 oil production platform when hydrocarbon fumes ignited a chain of explosions in three oil tanks, which led to the whole platform catching fire.

Three men – Ellroy Corporal, Jerome Malagapo and Avelino Tajonera – died and several other workers were injured.

The platform, located 17 miles off the Louisiana coast was operated by Houston firm Black Elk Energy Operations.

Parries involved in the settlement include Black Elk and several contractor firms on one hand and the relatives of the dead and injured on the other.

A federal criminal case about the incident is expected to begin in January and involves involuntary manslaughter charges against Black Elk and another company, Grand Isle Shipyards.


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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