WWL: [Grand Isle Shipyard, a contractor which employed 14 of the workers on the platform] took issue with reports of what may have caused the oil platform fire. “The cause of the explosion and fire is unknown at this time,” [CEO Mark Pregeant] said. “However, initial reports that a welding torch was being used at the time of the incident or that an incorrect line was cut are completely inaccurate.”
AP: Authorities have said the blaze erupted Friday morning while workers were using a torch to cut an oil line on the platform. Pregeant’s statement, however, said the cause of the fire and explosion is unknown and that “initial reports that a welding torch was being used at the time of the incident or that an incorrect line was cut are completely inaccurate.”
WSJ: Mr. Pregeant rebutted reports that workers may have helped cause the explosion by using a torch to cut through a pipe, throwing off sparks that ignited containers holding oil residue. The reports were mentioned Friday by Black Elk Energy Chief Executive John Hoffman, who said that if true, it would mean workers weren’t following the proper procedure. “Initial reports that a welding torch was being used at the time of the incident or that an incorrect line was cut are completely inaccurate,” Mr. Pregeant said in a statement Saturday, adding that the cause was unknown. Mr. Pregeant said in an interview that a torch had not been used, based on an inspection of the platform but declined to elaborate. The Coast Guard had been probing reports into how the pipe was cut, and an official said Saturday that he had no new information about the cause. Black Elk Energy didn’t respond to requests for comment Saturday.
Watch: Dark substance covering water around oil platform that exploded in Gulf -- Feds: "Sheen can be seen for miles" (VIDEO & PHOTO)
Published: November 18th, 2012 at 4:55 am ET