Agency: Company Needs to Improve Offshore Safety

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A federal agency has told the owner of an offshore oil platform where a deadly explosion and fire happened last week to take immediate steps to improve safety at its offshore operations.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said Wednesday that Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations has been cited numerous times for incidents in which it failed to comply with regulations.

Those include Friday's fire and an October 2011 incident where use of an acid-based chemical resulted in the hospitalization of six workers.

In an email statement, a Black Elk spokeswoman said the company "appreciates the perspective" of the federal agency and it would work with local and federal agencies to understand what happened on the platform.


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