Covering Louisiana

Nov 16, 2012 5:51 PM by Tonya LaCoste

Black Elk Energy CEO interview

In an interview with KTRK-TV in Houston, Black Elk Energy President and CEO John Hoffman said it's been a stressful day worrying about what the workers went through in the Gulf of Mexico where a platform exploded this morning. "We still have two missing, so we are searching trying to track them down. Coast Guard is also conducting search patterns. That's my greatest concern at this point," he said.

Hoffman says an early indication of how the fire started points to a worker using a cutting torch while working on a procedure that called for cold cutting a line and putting in a valve. "That line was connected to tanks that had some oil and vapor of course. And apparently one of the workers decided to use a cutting torch. We believe that the cutting torch then ignited the vapors which caused the tanks to explode. Near by boats came and put out the fire.
nearby operators sent their helicopters over to help evacuate the wounded and the other workers and that's where we are right now."

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