Oil platform owner sued over deadly blast in Gulf

Oil platform owner sued over deadly blast in Gulf

GULF OF MEXICO - Commercial vessels spray water to extinguish a platform fire on board West Delta 32 approximately 20 miles offshore Grand Isle, La., in the Gulf of Mexico. First responders medevaced nine of the platform's 22 personnel to nearby rigs. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

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Associated Press

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 5:07 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Relatives of two victims of a deadly explosion on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico are suing the platform's owner and operator.

A federal lawsuit filed Monday by Ellroy Corporal's widow accuses Houston-based Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations LLC of negligently exposing workers to dangerous conditions.

The bodies of Corporal and another worker, Jerome Malagapo, were recovered from the Gulf after the Nov. 16 explosion. A third worker, Avelino Tajonera, was critically burned and died at a hospital a week after the blast.

The suit claims oil vapors ignited when workers cut into a pipe connected to tanks that should have been depressurized and purged before any construction work on the lines.

Lawyers for Corporal's widow also sued Black Elk Energy last month on behalf of Tajonera's widow.

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