Trial begins in case of fatal Black Elk platform blast of 2012

Jury selection is under way in a trial derived from several lawsuits pertaining to a fatal 2012 explosion on an offshore oil platform in the US Gulf of Mexico, according to the Associated Press.

Three men died in the November 16, 2012 blast and subsequent fire on the platform WD 32 E, operated by Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations of Houston, Texas.

The complicated case is expected to last around four weeks and to consist of three phases, of which the first one will consider Black Elk’s legal relationship with contractor firms working on the platform.

Black Elk’s platform was situated about 17 miles south of Grand Isle, Louisiana, when the blast occurred during welding work while the platform was shut down for maintenance.

The three men killed – Ellroy Corporal, Jerome Malagapo and Avelino Tajonera – were all Filipinos. Several other workers were injured.

There is also a federal criminal case in the works. That 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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