The wife of a man killed in a Nov. 20 explosion on a Fieldwood Energy platform has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Louisiana that claims the victim and his crew were told the piece of equipment that exploded was safe to work on.
Jerrel Hancock, 24, was a supervisor on a cleaning crew for Turnkey Cleaning Services when a heater treater they were working on blew up, killing Hancock and injuring three others.
The injured employees were treated and released from medical facilities in the days after the explosion.
Turnkey Cleaning Services is a contractor that was working for Fieldwood about 12 miles offshore.
Hancock and other Turnkey Cleaning Services employees were cleaning a heater treater, a piece of equipment that separates water and other materials from oil, when it exploded.
Federal investigators with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement have not yet issued a report.
The lawsuit, filed by Kayler Hancock, also names Island Operators as a defendant.
“The Turnkey cleaning crew were advised by defendants that Echo Platform’s heater treater had been properly cleared of solids, liquids, gases, de-pressurized and de-energized, and that it was safe for entry and washing,” the lawsuit alleges.
The suit alleges Hancock and his crew were told the heater treater was safe to enter. “Upon doing so, the heater treater exploded,” the suit says.
Kayler Hancock alleges Fieldwood Energy and Island Operators were grossly negligent and reckless, and Hancock is seeking an unspecified amount of money for her and the couple’s two children.
Fieldwood Energy risk manager Mark Mozell told The Advocate on Dec. 10 the company had not yet seen the lawsuit, and that it does not comment in detail on matters that are in litigation.
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