Oil Rig Leaves Multiple Injured and One Missing

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The Clovelly Oil Co. of New Orleans natural gas rig that exploded left several workers injured and one missing.

Sadly, the Coast Guard suspended their search after the waters of Lake Pontchartrain became too choppy and it was obvious that the body could not be recovered.

The worker, a 44-year-old man from Katy, Texas, was part of a crew working on the storage rig. When the rig exploded, it injured seven others and rattled nearby homes. Four out of the seven taken to the hospital were released, and rescue workers were able to get inside to turn off the gas.

The cause of the blast is unknown, but officials suspect that there was a chemical reaction on the platform after maintenance.

The Dangers of Working on an Oil Rig

Drilling for oil and natural gas is one of the most dangerous professions in the United States. Sadly, the risks are unavoidable for workers, because they live on the rig for weeks at a time. Many will work 12-hour shifts and deal with combustible materials daily.

One of the most notable accidents on an oil rig in the United States was the Deepwater Horizon rig, which was located 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana. On April 20, 2010, it exploded leaving 11 workers unaccounted for and presumed dead.

In 2008, 120 workers in the industry were killed in the oil and gas industry, while 21 were in the extraction industry (oil rigs). While these accidents have a low probability of occurring on oil rigs – when they do they are often catastrophic.

Common accidents seen on oil and gas rigs include:

  • Falling objects
  • Being struck by heavy equipment
  • Falls, trips, and slips
  • Falling overboard
  • Drowning
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Explosions and fires

The reason these accidents are often catastrophic is that oil rig workers usually work in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico or similar bodies of water. Out there they are miles and hours away from emergency personnel. Most rigs have emergency personnel on staff, but when an explosion or major fire occurs, these individuals are just as high-risk for injury as the rest of the crew.

Even when first responders make it to the scene, the injured workers are miles from the nearest hospital, which creates a significant delay in treatment. These delays can lead to more serious injuries, including:

  • Third-degree burns
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Amputations
  • Broken or crushed limbs

Receiving Compensation for the Death of a Loved One

When a loved one dies or gets seriously injured on an oil or gas rig, family members may wonder what options are available for them to recover compensation.

A representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the loved one or the victim, if living, can file a Jones Act Claim in certain situations. Loved ones who might receive compensation include the surviving spouse, children, parents, life partners, and other financial dependents affected by the worker’s death.

The compensation for these types of claims will vary depending on the party requesting damages, and the negligence of the oil rig.

Contact a New Orleans Oil Rig Accident Lawyer Today!

If you have lost a loved one in an oil rig accident, contact a maritime attorney in New Orleans. Shlosman Law Firm is experienced in these types of wrongful death claims and can help you seek compensation for your loved one.

Contact a New Orleans maritime injury lawyer today at 504-826-9427 or request your consultation online.