The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has released its Accident Investigation Report on the November 30, 2021 fire that occurred on the Mississippi Canyon 437 A Appomattox semi-submersible production platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The platform is owned and operated by Shell Offshore Inc. During the incident, the control room on the platform received an alarm from a flame detector. The operator observed smoke and sparks coming from a generator on the platform, and initiated the generator’s emergency shutdown.
The BSEE report, documented the efforts of the fire response teams on board:
Two fire teams were dispatched to strike the generator enclosure from both sides with fire hoses. For approximately ten minutes, the fire crews sprayed down the generator with water. Once the fire hoses were shut off, the fire team lead checked inside both doors of the generator enclosure and did not observe any flames. Fire teams used a temperature gun and a thermal imaging camera to check for heat and ensure the area was safe to enter. Two fire team members equipped with SCBA’s entered the enclosure and reported that there were no sparks, fire, or smoke observed; however, damage to the exhaust hatch, fiberglass grating, cable tray and insulation was noted.
The BSEE report determined the probable cause of the incident:
Equipment Failure – Flawed equipment design or construction: Loss of fastener preload in bolts due to vibration.
Ultimately, the fire response procedures on board the platform prevented this incident from being much worse. Fires and explosions on offshore platforms are known risks, which much be planned for by platform owners and operators. Precautions and safety protocols must be in place beforehand. The emergency shut down and response of the fire teams prevented this incident from turning tragic. Safe offshore companies must insure that adequate precautions are taken, including proper communication between workers, and adequate supervision from the managers on site.
Unfortunately, this is not the first incident BSEE has investigated on Shell’s A-Appomattox semi-submersible platform. BSEE also issued a report following an April 17, 2021 incident when an operator was exposed to a chemical on the platform.
Our attorneys have extensive experience in maritime injury and wrongful death litigation in courts across the country and the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives as a result of the negligence of another party, or been seriously injured. We have handled numerous cases involving injuries that occurred following fires or explosions on offshore platforms. The experienced offshore accident attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an offshore accident. Please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your legal rights.