Between 2007 and 2018, 33 offshore oil rigs exploded in the United States, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). Thankfully, offshore oil rig explosions are relatively rare, but when they do occur, they have catastrophic consequences, including a high number of fatalities and catastrophic injuries.
Some of the major offshore oil rig explosions from around the world and the aftermath they caused are discussed below.
The explosion of Deepwater Horizon is one of the most notable offshore oil rig explosions, and it resulted in the largest oil spill in history. A sudden burst of natural gas caused the deadly explosion on April 20, 2010, which resulted in the death of 11 rig workers and the spilling of four million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over the next 87 days, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The vessel capsized. BP spent more than $14 billion on clean-up activities between 2010 and 2015, according to Offshore Technology. The company paid out additional claims through a special trust fund and settled cases brought by several surrounding states that were damaged due to the spillage. The estimated cost of the Deepwater Horizon disaster caused for BP is estimated to exceed $65 billion.
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C.P. Baker Drilling Barge
The C.P. Baker Drilling Barge was used for drilling operations for Pan American Petroleum Corporation in Eugene Island in the Gulf of Mexico. This offshore oil rig explosion occurred on June 30, 1964 after it experienced a blowout. Water permeated the vessel and electricity was lost. Soon, the explosion and fires started. The incident caused the death of 21 people and injured 22 more in the resulting fires and aftermath of the explosion. This meant that everyone from the 43-person crew was either injured or killed.
On July 6, 1988, the Piper Alpha disaster in the United Kingdom took a huge toll, making it the deadliest offshore oil rig disaster in world history. Due to a communication error, a gas pump that was supposed to be left off while workers completed a project was turned on, which resulted in a gas leak and subsequent explosion. A total of 167 of the 226-person crew died in the disaster.
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According to the Houston Business Journal, in 2014, an oil rig owned by Fieldwood Energy LLC exploded and caught on fire near Louisiana when a heating system was being repaired. The explosion resulted in the death of one person and serious injuries to three others.
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According to KTUL Tulsa, in 2018, an oil rig exploded after gas that was supposed to be contained was actually released. Coupled with inadequate equipment to contain the spread of fire, the explosion was considered the worst since the Deepwater Horizon explosion. The explosion caused the death of five men, who were initially missing after the incident. A subsequent wrongful death lawsuit was filed in the case, resulting in a jury verdict of $10 million to the family of each man who was killed.
Mariner Energy Vermilion
According to Fox News, Louisiana was the subject of another offshore oil rig explosion in September 2010 when an explosion necessitated the rescue of 13 people from the Gulf Coast. The vessel was under maintenance at the time of the explosion.
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Unfortunately, there have been dozens of similar accidents to those discussed above. Now that you know more about some of the offshore oil rigs that have exploded, you understand that these disasters are serious and that those responsible for them should be held accountable for their actions.
If you were injured on an offshore oil rig or tragically lost a loved one in one of these incidents, know that you are not alone. The personal injury lawyers from Loncar Lyon Jenkins can answer any questions you have about filing a claim and how we can assist you throughout the claims process.
We offer a free consultation to explain your legal rights and options and work on a contingency-fee basis, so you pay nothing for attorney fees unless we help you recover compensation. Call us today at 877-239-4878 to get started on your claim.