Another Filipino dies in US oil rig blast

Posted at 11/24/12 12:36 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Another Filipino worker in the United States died Friday morning from serious injuries in the explosion and fire that hit an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico last week, the Philippine embassy in the US said.

Avelino Tajonera died Friday morning,  Ambassador Jose Cuisia, Jr. said in a statement.

The blast has now claimed the lives of 2 Filipinos. Another oil rig worker, Ellroy Corporal,  died in the incident.

Three other Filipino workers were seriously injured in the blast while another victim, Jerome Malagapo, remains missing, according to the Philippine officials.

“The embassy has been informed of the sad news that one of our kababayans injured in the November 16 incident in the Gulf of Mexico, Avelino L. Tajonera, passed away early this morning in the presence of his loved ones,” Cuisia said . “The Filipino nation joins his family in grieving over their loss.”

Tajonera, a welder who hailed from Dinalupihan town in Bataan, died after his wife and children arrived in the US to be at his side, Cuisia said.

They were able to see him at the Regional Burn Unit of the Baton Rouge General Hospital shortly after they arrived from the Philippines Thursday night. He passed away a few hours later.

Randolf Malagapo, executive manager of the US-based D&R Resources that hired Filipinos to work in Louisiana's offshore oil and gas industry, informed Cuisia of Tajonera's death.

Families of the 3 other injured Filipinos have also arrived in Baton Rouge to be with their loved ones.

Cuisia said D&R Resources and Grand Isle Shipyard Inc. are helping them, Cuisia said, according to the embassy website.

Three other Filipino workers who survived the blast have returned to Manila after giving statements to federal authorities investigating the incident.

Corporal's remains will be repatriated to the Philippines on Tuesday, according to embassy officials.