Philippine Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia confirmed that Jerome Malagapo became the third fatality in the oil rig explosion off the coast of Louisiana that claimed the lives of two other Filipinos and left three others seriously injured.
Malagapo's body, which was recovered on Monday, was reportedly identified by authorities upon evaluation of dental evidence. The embassy said the body was spotted near an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, 20 miles from the blast site.
The recovery of Malagapo came three days after fellow worker Avelino Tajonera, a 49-year-old welder from Bataan, died as a result of complications from the serious burns he sustained in the incident that also claimed the life of another Filipino, Ellroy Corporal, a 42-year-old rigger from Iligan City.
"We are deeply saddened to learn that we lost our kababayan, Jerome Malagapo," Ambassador Cuisia said after he was informed by the Coroner's Office of La Fourche Parish that the remains belonged to the 28-year-old fitter from Danao City, Cebu.
The Ambassador then personally informed Malagapo's wife, Joanne, his father Francisco and other members of his family of the positive identification on Tueday.
Two other workers remain in critical condition at the Regional Burn Unit of the Baton Rouge General Hospital while the condition of another, Wilberto Ilagan, a 50-year-old welder from Batangas, continues to improve.