On Thursday morning, Sept. 2, an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico caught fire, forcing its 13 crew members overboard into the sea. The workers who had been aboard were spotted from a helicopter, huddled together and floating in protective suits a mile from the platform. An offshore supply vessel called the Crystal Clear picked the crew members up and brought them to a nearby platform where they were later taken to land by helicopter.
The fire broke out just after sunrise in the living quarters as the crew was painting and cleaning the platform. At 9:19 a.m., the Coast Guard received a call from a nearby platform saying the Mariner Energy platform was engulfed in flames. Mariner Energy, the company that operates the oil rig, has been investigating the cause but have yet to come up with any answers. Any other year, such an explosion likely would not have garnered as much attention; but occurring soon after and near the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the explosion quickly made the headlines.
While there were a number of injuries and 11 fatalities on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, there were fortunately no personal injuries related to the more recent gulf explosion. By early Thursday evening, the workers had been rescued and the fire extinguished.
Officials from Mariner Energy will now take their turn answering to Congress. They were prompt to release several statements, however, claiming “there was no blowout, no explosion, no injuries, no spill.” Mariner Energy holds a number of oil and gas interests around the Gulf area, as well as Arkansas, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Wyoming. 85 percent of its production, however, comes from offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
With the nation’s attention now turned toward Mariner Energy’s oil platform, a number of previoudly overlooked instances have been illuminated in the spotlight. According to federal records, there have been at least four maritime related accidents on this same platform in the past decade, all of which led to maritime personal injuries: one of them considered a serious injury and another led to a hospitalization. Also within the last ten years, Mariner Energy has been forced to pay at least $85,000 in civil penalties for safety violations, including in two instances just within the last year.
The lawyers at Beard Stacey & Jacobsen, LLP handle all sorts of maritime personal injury cases, including oil rig cases. If you have a question about this article, oil rig injuries, or any other maritime injury, feel free to call one of the lawyers at Beard Stacey & Jacobsen, LLP.