Trial Set For February Over Deadly 2012 Platform Blast

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Two companies charged with manslaughter in a deadly 2012 rig explosion about 20 miles off Grand Isle are scheduled for trial in February.

The Courier reports that a trial is set for Feb. 1 in federal court in New Orleans.

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo will hear the case against Black Elk Energy and one of its contractors, Grand Isle Shipyards Inc.

The two companies face three counts of involuntary manslaughter, as well as eight charges involving federal safety practices under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and one violation of the Clean Water Act.

The case stems from an explosion and fire started during welding work on a platform in the Gulf of Mexico owned by Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations.

The blast killed three workers and injured several others.

In lawsuits and a federal report, the company and its contractors have been accused of failing to follow proper safety practices and rushing work.

Another contractor, Wood Group PSN, and three workers were charged with violating the Lands Act and the Clean Water Act. The workers charged are Don Moss, 46, of Groves, Texas; Curtis Dantin, 50, of Cut Off; and Christopher Srubar, 40, of Destrehan.

The three men have pleaded not guilty and are free on bond pending trial. Their trial is also set for Feb. 1 before Milazzo.

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