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Body found near oil platform after fire in gulf

[Story updated Nov. 20 with block name, 2nd paragraph]

Divers recovered a body Nov. 17 near an oil platform that caught on fire Nov. 15 in the Gulf of Mexico about 20 miles offshore Grand Isle, La., said the US Coast Guard and the rig's owner, Black Elk Energy of Houston.

The platform on West Delta 32 was not producing when the incident happened. Initial reports indicated a contractor is believed to have used a blow torch instead of a saw to cut a pipe, triggering the incident. USGC said no oil was spilled.

The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is investigating, BSEE Director James A. Watson said.

“BSEE is committed to determining the direct and indirect causes of the explosion and will take appropriate enforcement action,” he said.

A private dive team hired by Black Elk found the body at 5:25 p.m. Nov. 17 while inspecting the platform. Another crew member remains missing (OGJ Online, Nov. 16, 2012).

The body was recovered after USCG suspended a 32-hr search for two missing workers. Four other workers were burned and taken to Baton Rouge General Medical Center.

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