Trial Begins in 2012 Gulf of Mexico Oil Rig Explosion

One year after the explosion, in November 2013, the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement called for a safety stand-down by offshore oil and gas platforms' crews to discuss the lessons learned from 2012 explosion and fire on platform WD 32 E, operated by Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations.

Jury selection began June 20 in a trial stemming from a November 2012 explosion and fire aboard an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The case combines nine lawsuits involving platform owner Black Elk Energy, as well as relatives of the three workers who died in the incident, injured workers, and companies that were working for Black Elk, the Associated Press reported.

One year after the explosion, in November 2013, the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement called for a safety stand-down by offshore oil and gas platforms' crews to discuss the lessons learned from 2012 explosion and fire on platform WD 32 E, operated by Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations. Ellroy Corporal, Jerome Malagapo, and Avelino Tajonera died. The explosion occurred during construction, not while oil and gas were being produced, BSEE Director Brian Salerno pointed out, who said decisions, actions, and failures by Black Elk and its contractors caused it. "These failures reflect a disregard for the safety of workers on the platform and are the antithesis of the type of safety culture that should guide decision-making in all offshore oil and gas operations," he said in 2013.

AP's report said the three-phase trial is expected to last about four weeks, with the opening phase concerning Black Elk's legal relationships with companies working on the platform.

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