Body Found By Burned Gulf Oil Platform
A body has been discovered near the Gulf oil platform that caught fire on Friday. Authorities have said that two Filipino workers went missing during the blaze after they jumped off the burning rig.
Divers contracted by the oil platform’s owner, Black Elk Energy, discovered the body on Saturday evening while they were inspecting the structure, reports The Chicago Tribune.
Officials from the Philippine Embassy in Washington confirmed the body is one of the two Filipino workers. Divers have not yet found the second worker and their names have not been released.
Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr. stated of the second missing worker, “We continue to hope and pray that our other kababayan (countryman) is still alive and would be recovered soon.”
The Coast Guard has suspended its search for the two missing workers on Saturday evening after three helicopter crews, a Coast Guard cutter, and a plane scanned over 1,400 square miles around the platform.
The blaze began on Friday as workers welded a pipe on a deck of the platform, which sits in 56 feet of water, according to Yahoo! News. Twenty-two people were aboard at the time of the fire, which unleashed a black plume of smoke over the oil rig. Eleven workers were evacuated while nine others were taken to hospitals by helicopter.
John Hoffman, the president and CEO of Black Elk Energy, released a statement through email about the body found near the gulf oil platform on Saturday, saying, “Divers will continue to search for the second missing worker. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families.”
The oil platform where the fire began has not been in operation since August. Four workers remain in the hospital being treated for burns. Two are in critical condition, while the other two are in serious condition.