NEW ORLEANS —The condition of a Filipino worker seriously burned in an oil platform fire off Louisiana’s coast was upgraded to good Monday, while one co-worker was in serious condition and two others remained critical.
One worker, identified by the embassy of the Philippines as 42-year-old Elroy Corporal, was killed in the fire. Another is missing. He was identified on the website of Philippines-based DNR Offshore Crewing Services as Jerome Malgapo.
Fifty-year-old Wilberto Ilagan, one of four burn victims taken to Baton Rouge General Medical Center, was the patient whose condition was upgraded from fair to good on Monday.
The three others also were being treated at Baton Rouge General Medical Center. The company said it would keep looking for the missing worker.
The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement had its personnel on the platform Monday investigating what happened.
The National Chemical Safety Board, a government agency that investigates industrial chemical accidents, said it had not decided whether to launch an investigation, but it has sent a list of questions to Black Elk about evidence and possible witnesses.
It also has requested documents relating to safety plans and permits in force at the time of the explosion, including welding plans.
Gulf Isle Shipyard Inc., a company that was performing maintenance on the platform, said in statements Sunday and Monday that a welding torch was not being used at the time of the fire.
Friday morning’s explosion happened on a shallow-water offshore rig off the coast of Plaquemines Parish.
The fire was out within hours and the platform remained structurally sound. It was not producing at the time and the accident did not result in a continuous leak of oil, as happened after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in April 2010.
The dead and injured were among 14 employees and subcontractors working for Grand Isle Shipyard.
Jose Cuisia Jr., the Philippine ambassador to the U.S. Embassy, was part of a news conference in Baton Rouge on the condition of the injured.
“I’m sure that with the special care and attention you’ve been extending to our four countrymen, our four countrymen will recuperate sooner rather than later,” he said.
Local and hospital officials welcomed Cuisia Jr., as well as the Chicago-based Deputy Consulate to His Excellency Orontes Castro, in Baton Rouge.
Mayor-President Kip Holden; Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge; and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, a Baton Rouge General board member, were in attendance, along with Baton Rouge General president and CEO Bill Holman, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Flip Roberts, and burn surgeon and surgery department chairman Dr. Jeffrey Littleton, among others.
Hospital officials on Monday quoted Ilagan, the identified victim, as saying, “Tell my countrymen to pray for us and our quick recovery ... and that our caregivers are always with us, and they are very kind to us.”
Associated Press reporter Melinda Deslatte and Advocate staff writer Robert Stewart contributed to this story from Baton Rouge.