Worker Dies From Burns Caused By Oil Rig Fire

A man who suffered from critical burns after an oil rig caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico has passed away from his injuries. The man, 49-year-old Avelino Tajonera, succumbed to his injuries on Friday, right after his wife and children arrived from Manilla to see him.

Tajorena was one of four men hospitalized after the November 16 fire on an offshore oil platform owned by Black Elk Energy, reports The Guardian.

The fire is believed to have killed at least two people, who went missing after the fire. One man’s body was discovered beneath the oil drilling platform on November 18. The search for the second missing man, 28-year-old Jerome Malagapo, has been called off.

The Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement (BSEE) spoke with Black Elk on Wednesday about the fire, saying that the company needs to improve safety conditions at its offshore operations, reports NBC News.

The BSEE also stated that the oil drilling company has been cited numerous times for incidents where it failed to comply with regulations.

They noted the fire, as well as an October 2011 incident where an acid-based chemical put six workers in the hospital as some of the violations. BSEE Director James A. Watson stated:

“Black Elk has repeatedly failed to operate in a manner that is consistent with federal regulations. BSEE has taken a number of enforcement actions, including issuing numerous Incidents of Non Compliance (INC’s), levying civil penalties and calling in the company’s senior leadership to review their performance and the ramifications of failing to improve.”

The worker who who died from his burns related to the fire will likely be taken back to the Philippines for burial.