GRAND ISLE, La. - Fourteen of the 22 workers on the oil platform that caught fire in the Gulf Friday morning were employed by a Louisiana company called Grand Isle Shipyard, which has offices in Grand Isle and Galliano.
Company president Mark Pregeant confirmed in a telephone interview this afternoon with Eyewitness Investigations that his workers took the bulk of the casualties on the platform, but he was still gathering information on his employees’ injuries and wherabouts. Pregeant could not confirm if the two missing workers were Grand Isle employees.
“Right now, we’re trying to do what’s best for our employees and their families,” Pregeant said. “I can say we had 14 employees on the platform and some of them were injured in the fire.”
The explosion and subsequent fire broke out after workers used a cutting torch to cut into a 75-foot-long, 3-inch-wide line on the platform. At least four rig workers were sent to hospitals with burns and the Coast Guard was searching for two others missing in the Gulf of Mexico.
The non-producing oil platform is operated by Black Elk Energy of Houston, which in turn hired Grand Isle as a contractor. According to Grand Isle’s website, the company was founded in 1948 and specializes in structural fabrication and pipework on offshore and onshore structures.