Embassy assists Pinoys injured in oil rig blast


Posted at Nov 19 2012 02:30 PM | Updated as of Nov 19 2012 10:30 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine embassy officials are now checking on the condition of Filipinos injured in the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico last Friday

“At this point, our officers are on the ground visiting those who are injured to find out their condition,” said Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez.

Hernandez said embassy personnel will likewise assess what kind of help the government needs to extend to the victims.

A Filipino worker was confirmed killed in the explosion while four other Pinoys were injured and are currently being treated at the Baton Rouge General Hospital in Louisiana.

“One, which was recovered and who was earlier reported as missing, is confirmed dead,” he said.

However, Hernandez said they cannot disclose the identities of the Filipinos until their families have been notified.

“As of last night there were efforts to inform the family. I'm not sure if the employer has already done that,” he said.

Hernandez added that the workers employers are shouldering their medical expenses.

In a press statement, the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. identified one of those injured as Wilberto Ilagan who is being treated for serious burns.

The embassy said that Ilagan, 50, has been moved out of the serious list at the Regional Burn Unit of the Baton Rouge General Hospital.

Ilagan wanted his condition be made known to his relatives after he was erroneously reported to have perished in the incident.

“Our officials are now on the ground in New Orleans and will soon be on their way to Baton Rouge to extend the necessary assistance to the affected workers,” Ambassador Jose Cuisia said.

There were nine Filipinos working in the platform when the explosion happened. They are among an estimated 162 welders, fitters, scaffolders and riggers who were hired in the Philippines to work in offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. With ANC