By Jennifer A. Dlouhy
August 22, 2013
WASHINGTON - A fatal explosion on a Gulf of Mexico production platform last November was triggered by contractors conducting maintenance work at the site, according to an investigation commissioned by the Houston-based company that owned the facility.
Federal investigators are still probing what caused the Nov. 16 explosion and fire at Black Elk Energy's West Delta 32 production platform, which killed three people and injured two others. But conclusions from the initial investigation funded by Black Elk and conducted by ABSG Consulting dovetail with earlier speculation that contractors were welding a pipe that hadn't been cleared of flammable gas, triggering explosions in connected oil tanks...