NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard suspended its search on
Saturday for two crewmembers who remain missing following an explosion on West
Delta 32, an oil production platform owned by Black Elk Energy and located roughly 20 miles southeast of Grand Isle, La.
On Sunday, CNN
reported that one of those crewmembers had been found dead at the bottom of the
ocean, under the platform.
The explosion occurred on Friday morning and resulted in the
medical evacuation of 11 crewmembers. Nine other crewmembers were uninjured
and safely evacuated as well. The fire caused by the explosion has now been
extinguished and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has
initiated an investigation into the cause of the explosion and resulting fire.
The seven-member team conducting the investigation includes safety inspectors,
engineers, safety management personnel and law-enforcement experts, according
to a press release.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured and missing
and their families,” the BSEE said in a statement released on Saturday. “BSEE
is committed to determining the direct and indirect causes of the explosion and
will take appropriate enforcement action."
The Coast Guard initially responded with response boats from
Coast Guard Stations Grand Isle
and Venice, the 87-foot Coast
Guard Cutters Pelican
and Razorbill, an HC-144 Ocean
Sentry fixed-wing aircraft crew and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Aviation Training Center Mobile,
Ala., and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station New Orleans.
However, after more than 32 hours of searching 1,400 square miles for the two
missing crewmembers, the search was halted pending further information on their
For a report on the explosion, you can watch the following